A NEW YORK TIMES BEST THRILLER OF 2021
In this “blisteringly suspenseful tale that will keep you up at night” (Wendy Webb, author of Daughters of the Lake), a woman returns to the old family home after her sister mysteriously drowns in its swimming pool…but she’s not the pool’s only victim.
Be careful what you wish for.
When Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.
In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives.
A modern-day ghost story that illuminates how the past, though sometimes forgotten, is never really far behind us, The Drowning Kind “is satisfying on every level: Marvelously chilling, elegantly written, a true page-turner” (Janelle Brown, New York Times bestselling author).
Tired mental health stereotypes and a dispiriting ending mar McMahon's latest taut supernatural thriller (after The Invited). Jackie Metcalf has worked hard to distance herself from her family, especially after her grandmother left her Vermont estate to Jackie's mercurial sister, Lexie. When Lexie drowns in the house's pool just as their aunt had decades before everyone suspects she took her own life, but Jackie soon learns the situation is much more complicated. Interwoven with this contemporary story line is one beginning in 1929: 37-year-old Ethel Monroe struggles with infertility, but finds hope in stories of the healing powers of a natural spring attached to a Vermont hotel, despite locals' warnings about the spring's dark powers. McMahon's skills in crafting captivating plots and building suspense shine as the connection between the two threads slowly becomes clear, but the story ends with more fizzle than bang. More disappointing is the way the challenges and traumas of complex mental illnesses are flattened into mere annoyances; Lexie, who has bipolar disorder, is broadly painted as a manic, flaky artist, and her struggles are portrayed primarily through the effect they have had on Jackie's life. Still, readers who prioritize atmosphere and intricate plots will be engaged.
One drink I could not put down
…and creepy as heck
This the third book I have read by Jennifer McMahon and I have become such a big fan! Her books are so well-written, moving back and forth in different, distinct time periods. The element of the supernatural is always present which makes her books different from other mysteries. I have another book of hers to read and have pre-ordered her next book. Her books draw you in, sometimes to places that seem to scary to enter.
I LOVED this book. It blew me right out of the water (pun intended). 😉
Two stories, perfectly dovetailed into a magical realm of life and death. It’s a beautiful and haunting tale; spooky, creepy and completely absorbing.
I loved both stories, that of Jax in the present time and Ethel in 1929.
Jax receives 9 calls from her sister, Lex, who leaves frantic, odd messages on her answering machine. Jax doesn’t answer because she’s tired of Lex’s mental issues. By morning a return call is too late, as Lex has drowned in the natural spring pool under suspicious circumstances.
Ethel, back in 1929, is desperate for a child. Her desperation is palpable, going so far as to carry a sparrow’s egg with her because she is quite superstitious. She visits the Brandenburg Springs Hotel, with her husband, and partakes in a swim in the natural springs and makes a plea to the springs to bring her a child.
The mysterious Brandenburg Spring is what I consider the be the 3rd character in the book, for It has a life all its own, pulsating with energy, granting wishes and miracles to those who seek it’s powers. But for every miracle there is a price that must be paid since everything that lives has its own life and death balance. This dark pool fuels both storylines.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, slowing down my pace because I didn’t want it to end. Even now, after I’ve finished the book, I think of the beauty of Sparrow Crest and long to see the pool in the sunlight, the ripples, dancing In the sun. However, I would never break my rule of swimming in water where I cannot see the bottom. 😊