Tag: Karen White

Guest Review: The Sound of Glass by Karen White

Posted November 9, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Sound of Glass by Karen WhiteReviewer: Tina
The Sound of Glass by Karen White
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: May 12th 2015
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 432
Add It: Goodreads
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The New York Times bestselling author of A Long Time Gone now explores a Southern family’s buried history, which will change the life of the woman who unearths it, secret by shattering secret.

It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.

I absolutely adore Southern Women’s Fiction. Although I am not sure what originally got me hooked, I have become a die-hard fan. Any book in this genre will eventually find it’s way not only onto my TBR pile, but also into my heart. The Sound of Glass by Karen White is no exception.

I have many books by Karen White on my Kindle. On exact count, I have twelve. Unfortunately, The Sound of Glass is not one of them. I actually picked this one up on a recent trip to the library.

This book got my attention for several reasons. First of all, the author is Karen White. Nothing left to say about that fact. Then of course it is Southern fiction. Also, being a fan of the author as I am, you can’t help but notice that the majority of her books have gorgeous covers! They pretty much dare you to pull them off the shelf. The deal was sealed when I read the back cover. I knew I would be reading this book before the day was over.

The Sound of Glass is an exquisitely written story of the complex interconnecting lives of a family. It is chocked full of all the drama and raw emotion that you can expect when a vast array of injured and imperfect personalities come together. I found all the characters to be realistically portrayed and highly deserving of the compassion that the reader feels towards them. I finished the book knowing that this would be one that I would remember and recommend.

The Sound of Glass couldn’t be a more perfect title for this book. Just like the sensation of shattering glass, the story is explosive, unexpected and often composed of jagged and sharp edges. It is an exceptional portrayal of a dysfunctional family unit. I was truly affected by this powerful tale.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5


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Review: The Memory of Water by Karen White

Posted June 11, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Memory of Water by Karen WhiteReviewer: Holly
The Memory of Water by Karen White
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: March 4th 2008
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

On the night their mother drowns, sisters Marnie and Diana Maitland discover there is more than one kind of death. There is the death of innocence, of love, and of hope. Each sister harbors a secret about that night-secrets that will erode their lives as they grow into adulthood.
After ten years of silence between the sisters, Marnie is called back to the South Carolina Lowcountry by Diana's ex-husband, Quinn. His young son has returned from a sailing trip with his emotionally unstable mother, and he is refusing to speak. In order to help the traumatized boy, Marnie must reopen old wounds and bring the darkest memories of their past to the surface. And she must confront Diana, before they all go under.


Sometimes I’m in the mood for something darker and emotionally engaging. The Memory of Water was exactly that. In it, White explores the bond between sisters, the various shades of mental illness and how secrets from the past come back to haunt you, no matter how far buried they seem to be.

The bond between sister’s was broken on a stormy night at sea 16-years-ago, and both feel the loss keenly. Diana resents Marnie for coming home as the prodigal daughter and gaining favor with both her ex-husband and her traumatized son. Marnie still struggles with feelings of inadequacy in the face of her perfect sister, and the feelings she still evokes, even after 16 years of separation. Quinn, Diane’s ex, wants to believe Diane is getting better after a manic episode caused her to take their son out sailing during a terrible storm. Gil, her son, has stopped speaking, knowing it’s a sin to lie, but unable to speak the truth of what happened that night on the water.

These four wounded souls come together in a powerful tale about love, loss and the power of secrets and lies to hold us forever in the past.

I truly enjoyed this story, though the unconventional telling of it sometimes caused some confusion. It’s written in the first person, but from four different POV’s. Unfortunately, Gil’s “voice” was the only distinct one, so while I was reading from Diane, Marnie or Quinn’s POV’s, I was often confused about who was doing and thinking what.

Each character was flawed and compelling in his/her own way and the story was thought provoking and engaging. The pacing lagged somewhat in the beginning, but it wasn’t long before I was emotionally invested in each of these characters. It didn’t take me long to figure out what their deep, dark secrets were, but it’s rare that I don’t figure it out and the mystery itself was less important than the personal struggles each character faced.

Overall an engaging novel with emotional depth, flawed, compelling characters and a wonderful setting among the Lowcountry of South Carolina and the dark, turbulent sea. I highly recommend it.

4.5 out of 5

This book is available from NAL Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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