The Weight of Water & The Healer


The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve was a library book sale find for me.  The story surrounds a journalist/photographer, who is on a small boat, with her husband, young child, brother-in-law and his girlfriend.  The trip is to visit an island off the coast of Maine where a horrible domestic crime had occurred years before, get some pictures and do some research.  It sounds simple enough.

As Jean, the journalist’s, research into the ill-fated family are appearing in her own family, trapped as they are on the small boat in close quarters with one another.  Her husband the poet, whose glory days are gone, he can no longer write.  The younger brother, captain of the small craft, in love with a woman who doesn’t love him.  And Adaline, somewhat of a beautiful enigma, set between the two brothers.   The approaching storm is a catalyst for a modern-day tragedy.

Anita Shreve’s writes these family dramas with a great voice and characterization.  She is able to open a window to give the reader a view into another family’s world, at least that is what it feels like.  I just always find myself frustrated with some of the choices her characters make.   They always seem to be these women who make choices that are bad, just bad, let’s leave it at that.  I don’t want to say anything else because it will give away too much of the story.  Very good writing for fans of women’s fiction.

The Healer by Antti Tuomainen is a crime novel but set in the apocalypse, similar to the Ben H. Winters series, The Last Policeman.  

The protagonist, Tapani’s, wfe has gone missing.  She’s a journalist, who’s investigating The Healer, a serial killer killing those he deems responsible for the environmental apocalypse that is surrounding everyone.  Tapani knows he will not be able to rely on anyone to help him and sets out to get his wife back on his own.  With the help of a cab driver and some advice from an overwhelmed police officer Tapani struggles on with his quest, through interminable rain and wind, through beatings, betrayals, and dangerous enemies.

A little much on the environmental politics in places, but being that was tied to the plot, it was expected.  Overall, a well done mystery with good investigation and an enduring sense of the love and loyalty Tapani feels for his wife.  I would recommend for mystery and readers of apocalypse fiction.