I got the new Paula Hawkins novel, Into the Water, thanks to Book of the Month extras. Just like her debut, The Girl on the Train, I couldn’t put it down.
It’s a quick read and it looks longer than it is in hardback format. The type is large and the chapters are short. It moves back and forth between narrators with speed and skill. I’m normally not a fan of that but Ms. Hawkins does it really well. I do admit that it was a little confusing at first trying to place everyone into the narrative but I think that was part of the point. This book really makes you lose your bearings, very much like the characters.
I enjoyed the tight family drama and the suspense. It kept me reading and I’m sad it’s over. That’s what a good book should do. I definitely recommend Into the Water to lovers of grip-lit like myself but I also recommend it to anyone who likes a well-told story.
Having seen the series, I’m not sure why I wanted to read the book, Piper Kerman’s memior, Orange is the New Black, about her time spent in a Federal women’s prison. I suppose I wanted the real story. To say the Netflix series takes liberties is an understatement. I enjoyed the first two seasons but all the backstories in the third became a bit tiresome.
I thoroughly enjoyed Kerman’s writing and you can tell this wasn’t ghost written. That’s something I always appreciate. She did her time in Danbury, Connecticut and she writes about it with surprising affection, though going to prison was a traumatic experience for her, as it would be for anyone. Prison is degrading and humiliating but she writes about the women she met there with love and grace, giving them back some of the dignity the institution took away. She also writes about the importance of having people in your life on the outside who make life worth living. The letters, the visits, the books, all kept Piper going through a horrible experience. That’s a lesson we can all learn without spending any time in the clink.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. In fact, I really enjoyed comparing it to the series and turning each page to see what crazy, funny, horrible, or happy thing was going to happen next. I would recommend it if you’re a big fan of memoir like me.