About the Book
The best fiction simply tells the truth.
But the truth is never simple.
When novelist Kendra Brennan moves into her grandfather’s old cabin on Hidden Lake, she has a problem and a plan. The problem? An inflammatory letter from A Very Disappointed Reader. The plan? To confront Tyler, her childhood best friend’s brother–and the man who inspired the antagonist in her first book. If she can prove that she told the truth about what happened during those long-ago summers, perhaps she can put the letter’s claims to rest and meet the swiftly approaching deadline for her next book.
But what she discovers as she delves into the murky past is not what she expected. While facing Tyler isn’t easy, facing the consequences of her failed friendship with his sister, Cami, may be the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.
Plumb the depths of the human heart with this emotional exploration of how a friendship dies, how we can face the unforgivable, and how even those who have been hurt can learn to love with abandon.
In My Opinion
There’s a line authors who write about difficult issues sometimes must straddle giving readers details without giving readers too many details. And that line is even thinner when authors write for a Christian publisher. Yes, some publishers are moving away from the squeaky clean content and toeing over that line. Some readers love it while others hate it.
That is my warning for The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels. This book deals with a traumatic, tragic issue (sexual abuse) that will trigger some and may go into too much detail for others.
However, this book is beautifully written. As Kendra returns to the place where she spent her summers as a girl, she wrestles with what happened to her at the lake. She remembers a friendship formed and she attempts to solve a mystery. There’s no shortage of plot devices to keep the story interesting (though it does slow to a crawl in places).
In fact, there was so much happening in this book, I was not ever sure exactly where it was going, and I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the outcome because I still had questions. I was also disappointed that at no point in the book was there any mention of the hope and healing that Jesus could bring to this dark and awful situation that affected so many lives.
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.