Book Reviews

Book Review: Something in the Water: A Novel, by Catherine Steadman

Something in the Water: A Novel,

by Catherine Steadman

Publication: Ballantine Books; June 5, 2018

something in the water

About the book:

If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman’s enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we’re tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.

**My Review**

Oh my, how do I review this? Well, I’ll keep it short, simple and to the point. This has been on my NetGalley shelf forever and by now I think most of the world has heard of this book, especially once it became one of Reese Witherspoon’s picks. The premise of the novel sounded excited with Erin and Mark on their honeymoon in Bora Bora, discovering “something,” and then dealing with the aftermath. Unfortunately, my excitement ended at the cover and blurb.

First of all, let me say bravo to Catherine Steadman for writing and publishing her first novel! That in itself is to be celebrated. 

Something in the Water started out a bit slow for me, then picked up, then slowed again. I wanted to be engaged and invested in this story but honestly, it was a struggle. I’ve thought it over for a few days before writings this review and I think the main reason I just couldn’t get into this was the protagonist, Erin. I don’t have to love a character to love a book and I am one that always appreciates good writing and characterization whether it makes me love them or hate them. But with Erin, it was a physical, mental, and emotional possibility for me to like her, respect her, or be interested in her. She is a documentary filmmaker in the book, yet I constantly wondered how the woman could even function in the world because she was so incredibly stupid. I hate something negative like that but honestly, her actions and dialogue was some of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. And I have read a lot of books. 

If not for the issue with the protagonist, I would have enjoyed this book much more. I wish the writing itself would have flowed more smoothly and I would have liked more suspense. But, I love the major themes within the novel regarding our choices and decisions and all the ways they impact our lives and those around us. Who hasn’t made a decision at some point and when they didn’t like the outcome, wondered what could have been? Of course, all we can do is learn from those mistakes, but all of the events based on Erin and/or Mark’s choices in the novel are what really kept me reading on.  

This one has a ton of reviews and they are very mixed ranging from 1-5 stars, so I suggest reading this one and deciding for yourself. Although this one wasn’t a big hit with me, I think Catherine Steadman shows promise and I’m curious to see what she brings us next.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Purchase Something in the Water on Amazon.


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Something in the Water: A Novel, by Catherine Steadman”

  1. I have had my eye on this book for a looooong time. I came close to one-clicking on Amazon once, but too many negative reviews kept me from following through. I’ve read a few books where I didn’t care for any of the characters, but those aren’t usually my favorites. There have been a few exceptions where one will linger (Desert Flowers) for a long time and prove itself an outstanding read, but for the most part I shy away from such books. I still might eventually read this…if I ever get a grip on my TBR!


    1. Mae, just based on what and how you write, I think this would really drag for you.. And also, based on the characters you write, I think you would want to strangle the main character, Erin. But, and there’s always a but, lol… I think you would find the overall plot interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

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