With echoes of her dad’s influence, Rachelle Dekker is finding her own fiction voice. A departure from Rachelle Dekker’s dystopian trilogy, When Through Deep Waters is just as engaging.
In My Opinion…
Much of this book takes place in the minds of a couple characters. Dekker delves into the difficult topics of grief and mental illness. There is definitely a little suspense going on in the book but it isn’t the main fabric of this tale.
Alicen is struggling after a tragedy shatters her ideal life. In order to cope, she travels with Louise (Lou), her childhood friend, to Red Lodge, Montana. The small town holds memories for Alicen—both good and bad.
A bit of a supernatural element makes an appearance, especially the light versus shadows angle. As Alicen copes with losing her sanity, which many believe her grandmother dealt with as well, she must grieve her loss.
There is a danger in burying grief. One that hurts the griever and others around them. Victoria, a secondary character, provides a contrast to Alicen as readers spend time in both of their heads.
I loved Lou (and Lou’s mom). Alicen’s friend is an anchor. Alicen’s mother is a bit unlikeable (read: pushy) but perhaps it comes from a place of love and concern.
Dekker does an excellent job of allowing readers to feel Alicen’s turmoil and pain while joining her in a fight to hold onto reality.
Perhaps a bit of the suspense could have been build up a little more. The book is near its end before I felt a sense of danger. There were some hints of it but some threats to Alicen sooner would have taken me out of the cerebral element of this story for a bit.
There’s a theme of grace running throughout, but more strong is the importance of forgiving oneself. Overall, a good read with hints of influence from Dekker’s father.
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.
About the Book
Alicen McCaffrey finally has the life her mother always dreamed for her: beautiful home in Santa Monica, successful husband, adorable daughter. Then tragedy blows her carefully assembled facade to pieces. Worse yet–Alicen feels solely responsible. At rock bottom, she decides to accompany a childhood friend back to Red Lodge, Montana, where they spent summers together as kids.
The peaceful mountain landscape, accented with lush forests and small-town charm, brings back happy memories of time spent with her beloved, eccentric Grandma Josephine. Alicen begins to hope that perhaps things could be different here. Perhaps the oppressive guilt will lift–if only for a moment.
But when Alicen starts hearing voices and seeing mysterious figures near the river in the woods, she begins to fear she’s completely lost her sanity, as it’s rumored her grandmother did. Or might there be more to Red Lodge than meets the eye? Could the voices and visions be real–and her only means of finding the healing she so desperately needs? Or will they prove to be her final undoing?