It’s been a long seventeen years since Jess last saw her grandmother or visited the family cottage set on an idyllic lake in Northern Michigan. For all that time, she’s been haunted by loss—of her innocence and her ability to trust and, most of all, of a profound summer romance that might have been something more. So when her grandmother leaves the house to her, Jess summons her courage and returns to a place full of memories—and secrets.
There, she stumbles upon old letters and photographs of a time not so much forgotten as buried. As she begins to unravel the hidden histories of her mother and her grandmother, she makes a startling discovery about a tragic death that prompted her family’s slow undoing. With every uneven and painful step into the past, Jess comes closer to a truth that could alter her own path—and open a door to a different future.
I liked the way Nora Carroll wrote The Color of Water in July. Alternating POV's between teenage Jess, present day Jess and her Grandmother really presented an intriguing story, and I felt like I got to know both of these characters well.
There is not a great deal of dialogue between characters in the book, but this works very well in The Color of Water in July. With Nora's descriptive writing I could feel Jess's melancholy, her sadness, her everything. How Jess was dealing with her present is bringing back so much from the past, and I really felt part of what Jess was going through. I could relate to her just wanting to shove everything in a box and move on. The secrets Jess uncovers from the past surprised me, and I liked how Nora wove this into the story in a very realistic way, especially for that era.
I was a little worried about Jess, the relationship she is in, and where she was headed. I liked what Jess (and I) found out, I liked watching her slowly come alive again, and I liked the hope for the future I felt blossoming.
The secondary characters, including Jess's boyfriend are more in the periphery of the plot, each with their own role in Jess's story. This also worked well, they weren't distracting, but interesting.
I love the setting and Nora's descriptions of the lake, the lake house and the history of this place in The Color of Water in July. I could very easily picture sitting out on the porch on a hot summer night, or heading to the beach and the blue water.
The Color of Water in July was a really enjoyable read for me, I liked that Nora was able to evoke a lot of feelings for the characters, and I felt good and hopeful at the end of it. I'd recommend The Color of Water in July to any women's fiction reader.
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