Publication Date: 04/17/2018
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Imprint: Lake Union
Genre: Women's Fiction
(Received for an honest review from Lake Union via Netgalley)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes
Elizabeth Hall on the WEB: Website, Goodreads
Excerpt from The Music of the Deep, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature
Fleeing an abusive marriage and tormented by her past, Alexandra Turner finds solace in a small coastal town on Puget Sound and a job with a local marine biologist studying orcas.
After befriending a group of locals, Alex learns that she has moved to a place that has a reputation of being the “most haunted town in Washington.” Such superstitions would be easy to dismiss…if Alex wasn’t already on edge.
Haunted by shreds of memories of her days with her husband, Alex can’t keep from looking over her shoulder. As unexplained sounds and scents accumulate and unnerving forces seem to take hold, Alex is beginning to believe that she’s not escaping her ghosts, after all. In fact, she might finally be inviting them in.
Elizabeth Hall brings readers the haunting tale of a woman escaping an abusive marriage. Alex Turner moves to the Puget Sound in search of peace and finds true friendship and community as well. Hall's voice is lyrical, descriptive and stirring. This novel not only delves into surviving abuse but also the plight of a J-Pod of Orca whales off the coast of Alex's new Pacific NorthWest home. Hall intertwines the subjects in such a way that the reader will be truly affected.
What I liked:
Abusive relationships are not something I have had to endure myself in my own life and I can't say that I have truly felt I understood why some women choose to stay with their abusers. In Elizabeth Hall's book, The Music of the Deep the reader sees how Alex's relationship with her husband Daniel deteriorates slowly and becomes so volatile that she feels both love for him and fear of him. I honestly felt like I came away from reading this novel with some clarity in my own mind about how this sort of thing happens and what motivations are behind the victim's actions. I thought Hall just had a way with allowing the reader to share in Alex's pain and to understand her as a character.
I loved the friendships that Alex creates in her new home. From Maggie, the marine biologist she is working with to the local knitting club. Hall develops her characters slowly and with great depth. Little by little we learn more about these women and the lessons they learn from each other. The bonds between women are always something that intrigues me. The deep lasting friendships that women can create with each other are simply unexplainable and Hall really captured the essence of that idea in this book.
I don't know about you guys but I have always been a big fan of whales. They are so large and majestic and beautiful. Hall is able to not only educate her readers about handling abusive situations in this novel but also to educate them about the plot of the killer whale population and what is happening to their ecosystem as we continue to ravage the oceans of her vital resources. I found myself very invested in the plight of this Pod and the whales who were fighting for their habitat. Hall affected me with her writing and I'm sure I won't be the only one. Such a well written side theme to a very good novel.
What I didn't like:
The book blurb is slightly misleading. Some readers will pick this book up with the thought that it will center on the "haunting" paranormal aspects of the town that Alex has moved to. Though this is discussed in the book it is a minor theme and the blurb should have projected more of the true synopsis of the book.
I didn't really feel as though this book was necessarily women's fiction. When I think of that genre this is not a book that I feel falls in that niche. Yes, the protagonist is a woman and she does make friendships and grows immensely within the book, but somehow it didn't quite seem to fit. It was not a beach read or a cutesy novel. This one had some substance to it and some mystery, some informative aspects. There was just a lot more to it.
This is a good read. It doesn't fit the description given but it was very well written, engaging and informative. It was about a whole lot more than a possibly haunted town. If you picked it for that reason you are still gonna get a really good book, so no harm, no foal. I can't say that I totally related to the main character, Alex but I really liked her. And I understood her battles within herself. I loved the friendship aspect of this book and the Orca theme was exceptional. Give this one a try. It's a perfect book club pick, but maybe a little different from most women's fiction titles you might pick up.
The Music of the Deep is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag
About the Author:
Elizabeth Hall spent most of her life in the mountains of Colorado. She has worked as a teacher and communications consultant, including hosting, writing, and producing the radio show Heart of the West (KRZA, Alamosa) and producing an oral history compilation for the Great Sand Dunes National Park. She now lives in the Pacific NW.