Thank you Jennifer of Mama Bookworm for this review.
Title: The Drowning Kind
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Genre: Paranormal Thriller, Thriller
Synopsis: When social worker 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 hoped desperately for a baby. 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 haunting, twisty, and compulsively readable thrill ride from the author who Chris Bohjalian has dubbed the “literary descendant of Shirley Jackson,” The Drowning Kind is a modern-day ghost story that illuminates how the past, though sometimes forgotten, is never really far behind us.
Review: Holy moly! The Drowning Kind is the bee’s knees, friends! It was my first Jennifer McMahon book, but it won’t be my last. When I turned the last page and discovered the gutwrenching twist at the end of this book, I immediately sourced two more of this author’s books. McMahon spins an atmospheric supernatural thriller with lightning-fast pacing that keeps you on your toes.
McMahon tells this story in dual timelines/POVs (Jax in the present and Ethel in 1929). Eerie Sparrow’s Crest draws in a family for generations. McMahon paints a beautiful setting here. You can see, hear, smell, and feel the land and the pool at Sparrow’s Crest. Upon learning that her sister Lexie drowned, Jax returns to the family estate. Estranged, the sisters’ history had been complicated, filled with trauma and love. Still, Jax yearns for her sister. We feel grief alongside her as she navigates life without her sibling.
And the pool! Imagine a natural spring that grants your wishes and heals you from pain. Except, when the pool gives, it takes as well. The spring itself is a character in this story with its obsidian water and flashes of something otherworldly hidden within its depths. I try to picture what’s lurking in the water, waiting to pull me under forever. It gives me goosebumps!
Immediately, the plot swept me off my feet. I love a good plot twist, and this book has that and more. This book will delight thriller lovers everywhere. It’s a reflection on love, loss, grief, and family.