The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water

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book synopsis

When 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 that’s keeping her from writing her next novel as long as its claims go unanswered. The plan? To confront Tyler, her childhood best friend’s brother–and the man who inspired the antagonist in her first book–in order to prove to herself that she told the truth as all good novelists should. What she discovers as she delves into the murky past is not what she expected. Facing Tyler isn’t easy, but facing the truth of her failed friendship with his sister, Cami, may be the hardest thing she’s ever had to do. Award-winning novelist Erin Bartels searches the heart with this lyrical exploration of how a friendship dies, how we can face the unforgiveable, and how even those who have been hurt can learn to love with abandon.

book review

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After reading Erin Bartels, The Words Between Us, and enjoying the storyline I was sure I would also enjoy her new work. Bartels’ new book, The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water, was not what I expected and left me not wanting more. As in her first book, currents of faith or Christian perspective are either brief or missing entirely. The tone of this book is monotonous and dark. It includes scenes of child molestation, rape, other childhood trauma, and suicide. Some of these scenes are not left to your imagination and to the credit of the author’s writing ability are very emotional. To be fair, the theme of this book is taken from the author’s own experiences and I do not want to diminish or downplay what she is trying to convey.

While I don’t solely read Christian fiction, the publisher of this book is a Christian publisher that I review for often. So, I do feel as though this book will become problematic in that category for reasons mentioned above – lack of spiritual connection, descriptive scenes on triggering topics and other situations like teens drinking and smoking. Some reviews of this book will be based on a worldly view and not a spiritual view – mine is based on being published by a Christian publisher. Many readers will not realize that this book is not in that genre and will be shocked when diving into the pages.

All in all this is not a book that I would recommend to Christian fiction readers or those who may be triggered by traumatic experiences.

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Disclosure:

A copy of this book was received for review via . In no way has this influenced the review. The opinions expressed in this review are of the reviewer only. 

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