The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black is a quiet little novel that is filled with layers of intrigue. It’s about dysfunctional families and relationships. This book is being blurbed as a suspense story, I would call it more of a mystery with literary elements. Black’s writing in lyrical and compelling. Clare’s narrative voice is distinctive and poignant.
Clare is a photographer, who’s marriage is falling apart after a personal tragedy. Logically this means she should run away from her problems and go back home, right? That’s exactly what she does after she receives an invitation to work in her hometown of Galveston, Texas. Upon her return, Clare finds herself immersed in a tangled web of lies and family drama.
I did not find Clare to be a very likable character. I felt sorry for her but found some of her behavior immature and at times bordering on stalkerish. Even though I did not connect with Clare as a character, I found her narrative voice to be very clear and tangible.
The plot had a few story lines that felt underdeveloped. There is so much potential for this book to be fantastic if it had a bit more editing. The pacing was a bit choppy and really dragged in some places.
Overall, this was an okay read. I liked it but I did not love it. The ending felt a bit rushed and many questions are left unanswered. Black’s writing is beautiful and the descriptions of the Galveston were amazing. I just wish she had spent more time on the characters and the actual plot line.