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The Seduction of Water (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – December 30, 2003
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Iris Greenfeder is a 36-year-old barely published New York writer and teacher whose long-term boyfriend, an artist, sees her schedule as strict and therefore will not spend the night, because he likes to get up and paint first thing every morning. When one of Iris's stories about her mother is picked up by a small literary journal with a well-connected editor, things start to happen for her. She becomes convinced that a summer out of the city, working as manager of the old hotel, will give her the perfect setting in which to pen a memoir of her writer mother, as well as an opportunity to look for the rumored manuscript of her mother's final book. But there are those who are just as determined to keep the dead woman's secrets in the grave. Only mildly suspenseful, and relying too much on coincidence, The Seduction of Water isn't the page-turner that Goodman's debut was, but patient readers may find it a richer and more satisfying novel overall. --Regina Marler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
First of all, the Lake of Dead Languages is a thriller all the way. The story keeps you reading from the beginning to the end and there's no question at all that it's a page-turner. On the other hand, The Seduction of Water is a little more 'classic', the story somehow not moving as fast. This is because it is also a love story. Her descriptions are still chilling and morbid, but the reader is not as tempted to turn the page as much as the last book. When I read the book I feel that only half of the book is an element of 'mystery'.
If you are looking for a very fast page-turner , then this is not the book for you. In that case, read The Lake of Dead Languages.
Don't get me wrong. This is still a great book with a great storyline, it just goes slower, weaved with a love story that gives it a more 'classic' than a 'mystery' feel. However, the ending is suspenseful and I still highly recommend the book!
As with her previous novel, Goodman works several themes into the novel. The main character of this novel is similar to the main character in that previous work in that they are both women who appear to be in a sort of stasis. Iris Greenfeder, the protagonist of this novel, is somewhat aware that she is a soul in flux but she doesn't quite seem to know how to shake herself out of her torpor. Iris herself puts it best when she notes that her life is a series of "all buts": all but thesis, all but married, all but a writer. Her character exemplifies the trap that we all fall into in which we yearn for the things we really want in life but stay where we are because we know it, which therefor makes it safe. Unfulfilled in her career and her relationship, she is, however, reluctant to be proactive and seek what it is she desires.
A lot of her uncertainty is tied to the mysterious death of her mother, who was registered as another man's wife when she died in a hotel fire when Iris was young. Before her death, Iris's mother had written two of the planned three novels of trilogy and Iris returns to the hotel where she grew up, ostensibly to work on a memoir for her mother while seeking the manuscript for her mother's third novel.Read more ›
It is the story of a woman, Iris Greenfeder; an almost writer, an almost professor, and an almost wife. An urge to write a story told to her nightly by her mother, leads to her quest to find out more about her late mother, who died in a hotel fire, registered under a different name. Under the pretenses of writing her mother's memiors and looking for her mother's lost manuscript, Iris becomes manager at the hotel she lived in as a child. She finds love in an unlikely place, as well as a renewed love for the hotel she grew up in as her parents worked in the hotel.
The writing in this book is beautiful. The imagery in both the fairy tale and the rest of the novel, jumps out of the book and paints a picture of the time and the place. The author's characters are real people- not "fairy-tale" people who live perfect lives. Every time I had to put the book down, I could not wait to be able to pick it back up again to finish it. It was a very satisfying story- and I will be sure to check out Goodman's first book- and her new book.
The picturesque descriptions of the Catskill Mountains in which some of the book takes place are breath taking and will seduce you into inquiring on a vacation in NY. The characters are wonderfully flawed and you'll be able to identify with their struggles as Iris uncovers her mothers secrets.
I truly enjoyed this book and loved the deep connection Ms. Goodman evokes between Iris and her mother.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A little bit mystery, a little bit love story, a little bit fantasy. I think this story pretty much covers all you could possibly want in a book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by scissorhands
Fascinating story..... A little confusing ......
I love the atmosphere Carol Goodman creates in all of her novels, and the twists and turns they take are always fantastic.Published 11 months ago by Jennifer McCord
I'm familiar with the story of selkies - Goodman weaves an interesting mystery with folklore. This was a story I was always looking forward to getting back to.Published 13 months ago by Ondine
I really enjoyed this book and found it to be an easy and fun read. There are some dark and quirky characters, secrets and misery for Iris as she tries to find answers to the... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Kat A.
I really enjoyed this novel. I never read a story like it. It was almost like reading two great novels at once. Read morePublished on October 18, 2013 by Pat
Carol Goodman creates characters you care about and draws you into each world in her novels. This is my favorite book of all her writing. Read morePublished on October 9, 2013 by joyfully centered
I read this with my bookclub. It was not one of my favorites, guess just not the typical read for me. Read morePublished on March 4, 2013 by Elizabeth Blanchard