published by: Nan A. Talese
publish date: Jan. 15, 2013
Photographer Clare Porterfield's once-happy marriage is coming apart, unraveling under the strain of a family tragedy. When she receives an invitation to direct an exhibition in her hometown of Galveston, Texas, she jumps at the chance to escape her grief and reconnect with the island she hasn't seen for ten years.
I've been hearing about this book FOREVER. Seems like forever anyway. It was one of those things when I saw that it had been published, I was thinking to myself "hasn't that been out?" It's been on all the lists that come out at the end of the year, like Books to Look Out for in 2013 and Fantastic New Authors You Have To Read. Those kinds of lists. I approach book from these kinds of lists warily, either the book is good and YAY everything is right with the world or the book is horrible and I'm left wondering what is wrong with the list maker or what is wrong with me for not getting it.
The Drowning House is about Clare Porterfield trying to cope after the death of her daughter. In order to get away from her house filled with memories and her stressful marriage, she takes a job in her home town of Galveston, Texas. She hasn't been back to Galveston since she left under a cloud of controversy when she was fourteen years old. The rebuilding of this controversy and coming to terms with the relationship between her family and the island's most powerful family is primarily what The Drowning House is about.
I was disappointed in this book. I expected something else out of it. There was much hinting about hurricanes and the history Galveston has with hurricanes. I was expecting a hurricane in the book or something on that magnitude. Also, I never understood what the theme of the exhibit was supposed to be therefore I never really understood why Clare was poking into some aspects of Galveston history and ignoring others. There were some interesting bits of the book here and there and the overall story of her family and the Carraday family was intriguing although, there were some points I would have liked fleshed out a little more.
Would I recommend this book? Eh maybe. Texans might like it more than the rest of America. People that live along hurricane prone areas might be a little more interested in it given the historical bits about the great hurricane.
I guess this book qualifies as my first disappointment in 2013.