The Watery Part of the World by Michael Parker

This is the first ebook I’ve borrowed from my local library for Kindle. I am SO glad I finally figured out how to do that instead of buying every damn thing…anyway, The Watery Part of the World could have been one of those GREAT books I love to read and reread. It had everything going for it: a real-life unresolved mystery in the disappearance of Aaron Burr’s adult daughter, an intertwined tale of her ancestors in a remote, untouched part of the world (which makes the fictional parts about this historical figure plausible), and just enough eastern North Carolina references to remind me of my years spent there myself.

What I didn’t expect, and couldn’t get past, was the pointlessness of it all. It was just sooo BORING.

The two separate plot arcs are disjointed and go nowhere. While I finished this rather spare novel in just over a day, I kept falling asleep while reading it! (Seriously, if I wasn’t just superstitious enough that I feared if the first book borrowed from the library sucked and ended with a DNF, the rest would too, I probably would have quit this before the halfway mark…I’m weirdly bothered by things like that.)The intertwined stories of Theodosia Burr Alton and her descendants never seemed important enough to drive the novel anywhere compelling.

For instance:

  • The reason Theodosia was not killed by her pirate captor (because she can talk to a painting???) = ridiculous. I CAN TALK TO A PAINTING, YOU IDIOT.
  • There were no gushy details about that whole deal with daddy shooting Alexander Hamilton AT ALL. A  perfectly good historical novel opportunity based on an actual person SQUANDERED.
  • Her island husband just disappearing either because he ditched her or got killed by the pirate…and we’re not going to find out = lazy writing trick.
  • Her great-great-great granddaughters never leaving the island because they’re attached to this desolate place, not well adjusted to the outside world, would rather have people interview them as one of only three people who live on an island = well, who cares? I do NOT like any of these undeveloped, one- dimensional people!
  • Theo’s former slave/servant’s descendants and her people sticking together through thick and thin in the future…great, it’s been done, so what? Where is the problem?
  •  And then the death scandal… Woodrow was deliberately sent off island during a storm for Whaley’s selfish reasons…BUT he was an adult and could have declined to go or not leave his wife home alone. The sisters didn’t go rescue Sarah who was a damn grown person and should have gotten herself out of the way of the storm.  She had scissors in her hand when she bled to death…you mean when the damn tin roof fell on her jugular? Ugh. Essentially, this was a death scandal with no real scandal and I’m over it. The end.
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One Response to The Watery Part of the World by Michael Parker

  1. shelleybean1 says:

    Oh, by the way, I LOVE this cover even though the bed has NOTHING to do with this book.

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