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The Drowning House

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The Drowning House Cover

ISBN13: 9780385535861
ISBN10: 0385535864
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A gripping suspense story about a woman who returns to Galveston, Texas after a personal tragedy and is irresistibly drawn into the insular world she’s struggled to leave.

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. There Clare will have the time and space to search for answers about her troubled past and her family's complicated relationship with the wealthy and influential Carraday family. 

Soon she finds herself drawn into a century-old mystery involving Stella Carraday. Local legend has it that Stella drowned in her family's house during the Great Hurricane of 1900, hanged by her long hair from the drawing room chandelier. Could Stella have been saved? What is the true nature of Clare's family's involvement? The questions grow like the wildflower vines that climb up the walls and fences of the island. And the closer Clare gets to the answers, the darker and more disturbing the truth becomes.

Steeped in the rich local history of Galveston, The Drowning House portrays two families, inextricably linked by tragedy and time.

"The Drowning House marks the emergence of an impressive new literary voice. Elizabeth Black's suspenseful inquiry into dark family secrets is enriched by a remarkable succession of images, often minutely observed, that bring characters, setting, and story sharply into focus." —John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Review:

"Galveston, Tex., a place indelibly marked by the hurricane of 1900, which took well over 6,000 lives, is the setting for Black's fine debut. In present day, after the death of her six-year-old daughter and the collapse of her marriage, a broken Clare Porterfield returns to her island hometown after a decade away. She's been invited to choose material for a photo exhibition funded by the prominent Carraday family, whose patriarch, the Jay Gatsbyesque Will, has deep ties to Clare's mother, Eleanor. As children, Will's son, Patrick, and Clare were inseparable, their youthful exploits in and around the Porterfield house gradually tending toward the illegal, but a tragedy involving Patrick sent Clare away from home. Although Clare returns to look at photos of the island's history, what she really seeks is what remains of her wounded self. As Clare searches for the elusive Patrick, the true object of her desire, island characters divulge truths to which she was never privy. As Galveston's past comes to light, so, too, does Clare's — and it's so full of woe it nearly drowns the story. Nevertheless, Black mythologizes this landscape, evoking its essence and that of its inhabitants, creating a novel that is far more than the sum of its parts. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

ELIZABETH BLACK is a professional fund-raiser for a national nonprofit organization. She has published poetry in Kansas Quarterly, Karamu, and Southern Humanities Review. The Drowning House is her first novel.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

McGuffy Ann, April 5, 2013 (view all comments by McGuffy Ann)
Clare Porterfield has made a successful life for herself. As a photographer, she is invited back to her hometown of Galveston, Texas for an exhibition. Reeling from a family tragedy and unraveling marriage, she takes refuge in the offer to reconnect with the comfort of familiarity there.

In revisiting the past, Clare is able to reexamine her own past, as well as research her family history. She is seeking answers involving her family’s connection to a longtime influential family, the Carradays.

Clare is intrigued by the unusual drowning of Stella Carraday, who drowned in the family home during the Great Hurricane of 1900. She had drowned hanging by her hair from the chandelier. The unusual circumstances have long been a mystery. Now Clare’s curiosity grows, drawing her into a dark and unsettling past.

This dark mystery tells some of the history of Galveston, while telling the stories of two families. A fascinating and well developed suspense novel, it is one not to be missed.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385535861
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Black, Elizabeth
Publisher:
Nan A. Talese
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
galveston;texas;gothic;fiction;mystery;family secrets
Publication Date:
20130115
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.53 x 6.65 x 1.13 in 1.32 lb

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

The Drowning House Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Nan A. Talese - English 9780385535861 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Galveston, Tex., a place indelibly marked by the hurricane of 1900, which took well over 6,000 lives, is the setting for Black's fine debut. In present day, after the death of her six-year-old daughter and the collapse of her marriage, a broken Clare Porterfield returns to her island hometown after a decade away. She's been invited to choose material for a photo exhibition funded by the prominent Carraday family, whose patriarch, the Jay Gatsbyesque Will, has deep ties to Clare's mother, Eleanor. As children, Will's son, Patrick, and Clare were inseparable, their youthful exploits in and around the Porterfield house gradually tending toward the illegal, but a tragedy involving Patrick sent Clare away from home. Although Clare returns to look at photos of the island's history, what she really seeks is what remains of her wounded self. As Clare searches for the elusive Patrick, the true object of her desire, island characters divulge truths to which she was never privy. As Galveston's past comes to light, so, too, does Clare's — and it's so full of woe it nearly drowns the story. Nevertheless, Black mythologizes this landscape, evoking its essence and that of its inhabitants, creating a novel that is far more than the sum of its parts. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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