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Found, Near Water Paperback – July 2, 2014
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Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, "Exit West" tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time. See more
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Top Customer Reviews
The story also tells us a lot about the power of women and this group of women show us how to love and support one another through tragedy and the every day struggles of life even. They band together and with the help of a psychic end up finding a whole new puzzle. The book is excellent, and I very much enjoy the writing style of Katherine Hayton- she has clearly spent a lot of time with her characters and cares very much for the authenticity of their experiences.
One aspect of Hayton's story that makes it even more magnetic is that manner in which she ties current and recent past events in Christchurch into the plot - such as references to the 2011 Christchurch earthquake that rather startled not only New Zealand but drew global attention. And it is that devastation of an outside source of trauma that finds a keen parallel in her story.
The novel reveals the interaction of several women, two in particular: Christine Emmett, a victim support counselor and coordinator for the North Christchurch region (the opening paragraph sets the tone - `I set out the chairs in a circle. In my head I counted off each person as I placed their seat. Terry, dead daughter; Ilene, missing daughter; Kendra, missing daughter; Joanne, sick daughter; Christine, dead daughter. That last one is me, by the way.'), Rena Sutherland, a woman who has been comatose who upon gaining her sensorium discovers her daughter has been missing for four days but the absence has been unreported or unknown or ignored during Rena's coma. Christine Emmett is assigned to the case and attempts to submerge her own critical problems to focus on Rena's loss. The investigation is complicated by a woman, claiming to be a psychic, who provides the police with pertinent information, the interference of Christine's alcoholic controlling husband, the early release from prison of a pedophile, and the stories of the six members of Christine's support group of women who have lost their daughters.
To offer an example of Hayton's writing, the following is titled `Michelle's story': "I thought that not knowing was the worst thing I could ever endure. Not knowing if she was in trouble or needing my help or in pain. I worried that she'd been taken by someone that would hurt her, then I worried that she'd been taken by someone who would love her and care for her and in a year or two she'd have forgotten I ever existed. Not knowing was killing me. The police found her body stuffed into an old recycling bin out the back of a sleep-out. My beautiful girl had been bent to fit as though she was just a piece of rubbish, something to be disposed of. When I went to the hospital to identify my beautiful girl's broken body - that was worse than not knowing. When I buried her in the cemetery and compared the size of the gravesite to the other freshly buried bodies - that was worse than not knowing. When I drank myself to sleep on the anniversary of her sixth birthday, and realized that I would likely be doing that until my life ended - that was worse than not knowing."
Powerful writing, this, but the aspect that takes the story above the usual crime descriptive sort is the fact that Hayton refuses to have us wallow in the heinous deeds, but instead focuses our attention on how disaster affects these women - and indeed, how it affects us all. As much a psychological study as a mystery, FOUND, NEAR WATER is a hearty success, and for a debut novel it is most impressive. Grady Harp, November 14
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.