Saturday, May 7, 2016

Book Review: The First Time She Drowned

Title The First Time She Drowned
Author Kerry Kletter
Release Date March 15, 2016

Cassie O’Malley has been trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically—since birth. It’s been two and a half years since Cassie’s mother dumped her in a mental institution against her will, and now, at eighteen, Cassie is finally able to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.

But freedom is a poor match against a lifetime of psychological damage. As Cassie plumbs the depths of her new surroundings, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is real? And more important, whose life must she save?

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself, The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.

I wanted to like this book. It just seemed like a book that I would fall in love with. However, I was left feeling let down. This was pretty disappointing after seeing so many reviews that rated it highly.

The biggest saving grace of the book was the writing. It was wonderful and beautiful. I can see myself reading something else from Kerry Kletter based on the writing alone (with the hope that I enjoy it more than this book). Unfortunately, though, that's about all I can say I enjoyed.

As for the story, I was left feeling very underwhelmed. It felt exaggerated, rushed, and overall unbelievable. There was definite potential in the story, but it just didn't work out for me.


2 out of 5 stars

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