This is not like The Girl on the Train so if you start reading this book thinking that it will be, you will really be disappointed. That being said, I really enjoyed reading this book. I love historical fiction and this had the fake history of a town that had 17th century witch trials in its past and it seemed to curse the women in the town every generation since. There is a river that runs through the town of Beckford and forms a swimming hole next to a cliff that the locals have started calling “The Drowning Pool.” Generations of “troublesome woman” have died here– drowning in it or falling or jumping to their death from the cliff above into the pool. The chapters are short and jump from different characters perspectives and from past to present. A local woman, Del Abbott, who has caused controversy in the town by asking questions and researching the Drowning Pool’s history for a book, is the latest body pulled from its waters. Jules Abbott, Del’s sister, comes back to town on word of her sister’s death and to care for her niece, Lena. Lena’s best friend also recently died in the pool and is reacting poorly to both deaths but seems unsurprised by her mother’s death. It quickly becomes apparent that many people in the town are keeping many secrets. The first quarter of the book I was having trouble keeping the characters straight (most of whom I disliked) with the changing perspectives every chapter but the intrigue of all the secrets every character seems to be keeping kept me reading. The themes of damaging secrets that are pulling families and friendships apart while being kept to protect the people they love flows throughout the book and makes you question if you would do the same for love. I had a pretty good idea what happened about half way through the book but the plot twists to get the truth kept the book from becoming boring. That and Nicki, the psychic (or fraud depending on who you ask), wandering around, talking to her dead sister and dropping hints made this an enjoyable read for me. The only reason I did not give this book 5 stars is there were too many different characters/ perspectives at the beginning that made it a bit confusing and I felt the last chapter wasn’t needed/ the book would have been better without, in my opinion.
I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
1st book read for #emojithon (Readathon on Twitter) for 🤑 expensive book and 👯 buddy read challenge.