Monday, May 02, 2011

The Properties of Water, by Hannah Roberts McKinnon

When a tragic accident takes Lacey's older sister and mother away, Lace and her Dad must try to cope with maintaining the house and healing from their losses. Simply maintaining the house is struggle enough. Enter Willa Dodge, housekeeper extraordinaire, who whips things back into shape. While Lace initially distrusts Willa, she learns that she can be a powerful ally. A tiff with her best friend and a romance with an older boy also play a role in helping Lacey come to terms with what has happened to her family.

A short and nicely written novel that unfolds in a highly surprising fashion. It's hard to tell the whole story here as it would reveal too many of those surprises. Suffice it to say that there is a lot more to the tale than is immediately apparent. I enjoyed that and especially liked the way that it all grew in complexity as we went along. The characters are somewhat less interesting and I think the strength of the novel lies mostly in the storytelling and not the narrators.

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