The Drowning Girls
Paula Treick DeBoard
Liz McGinnis never imagined herself living in a luxurious gated community like The Palms. Ever since she and her family moved in, she’s felt like an outsider amongst the Stepford-like wives and their obnoxiously spoiled children. Still, she’s determined to make it work—if not for herself, then for her husband, Phil, who landed them this lavish home in the first place, and for her daughter, Danielle, who’s about to enter high school. Yet underneath the glossy veneer of The Palms, life is far from idyllic. In a place where reputation is everything, Liz soon discovers that even the friendliest residents can’t be trusted. So when the gorgeous girl next door befriends Danielle, Liz can’t help but find sophisticated Kelsey’s interest in her shy and slightly nerdy daughter a bit suspicious. But while Kelsey quickly becomes a fixture in the McGinnis home, Liz’s relationships with both Danielle and Phil grow strained. Now even her own family seems to be hiding things, and it’s not long before their dream of living the high life quickly spirals out of control…
I think this has been my favorite bookmail yet. Paula was incredibly kind and mailed the book herself from California! I loved this cover so much and couldn’t wait to dive into this book (😳). The perfect beach read.
The beginning of the novel was immediately gripping and I couldn’t stop reading after that. This was mostly because of the author’s writing style: everything just flows and you get completely immersed into the characters’ lives from the very first pages. I admit I’m always drawn to stories like this one, where you can’t help but think that everything would’ve been better if the characters had just talked to each other instead of keeping their thoughts to themselves. So tragic. And the setting was so appealing: an ideal community where nothing ever happens…
What’s this about? Liz McGinnis is a young high-school counselor who is married to Phil and has a fourteen-year-old daughter named Danielle. In the summer of 2014 they move into The Palms, which I imagined as some sort of Desperate Housewives-esque neighborhood, where everything seems idyllic at first sight but it actually isn’t. Just wait and see.
Phil McGinnis is the new community relations specialist (never knew something like that existed), which basically means that he needs to keep the neighbours happy. Liz and Phil aren’t that rich and start to feel out of place (especially Liz), but everything gets even more complicated when Danielle befriends a young neighbor who happens to have a crush on Phil. But is it only a crush? (Have you guys seen that movie with Alicia Silverstone?)
Danielle was a really likeable character, maybe because we’ve all been there: trying to fit in and wanting to grow up too fast. And Liz, well, she just didn’t know what to think about her daughter or her husband and I think we can all understand how she felt. On the other hand, Phil did make a lot of mistakes, yes, but I still felt sorry for him during most of the book.
What surprised me most about The Drowning Girls was how easily I got invested in Liz and Phil’s marriage. I wanted them to work things out. If only they talked to each other! You can imagine that things escalated quickly…
The final chapters were just perfect. I couldn’t believe it ended like that.
P.S If you liked this book, don’t miss The Swimming Pool. And viceversa.
I received a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.