How does perception impact reality? That’s the question Paula Treick DeBoard asks in her brand-new book, The Drowning Girls, which is out today.
The book places Liz and her family in an upscale gated community where dreams come true and wants are just a credit-card swipe (or a phone call) away. It’s not exactly a setting that makes Liz comfortable as, up until this point, she, her husband Phil, and her teenage daughter have struggled to make ends meet. They end up in the ritzy neighborhood after Phil lands a job as the community liaison. Yes, it’s poor Phil’s job to make sure he keeps the ultra-rich members of the community happy.
The new lifestyle should be a dream, but for Liz, it’s anything but. Soon her daughter is attached at the hip with one of the trouble teenage girls from the neighborhood, and before long Liz starts to wonder if her husband has noticed how fit, trim and beautiful the women of the community actually are. When Phil’s behavior changes and rumors start to fly, Liz is sure she’s lost her once rock-solid marriage forever.
As new details emerge, Liz finds herself stuck in a difficult situation between her family, her job, the life she once new and the life that has become her new reality.
The Drowning Girls and More by Paula Treick DeBoard
This is the second book by Paula Treick DeBoard that I’ve read, and in both she’s brought up serious questions about the unseen victims in difficult circumstances. She did a fantastic job of making me feel deeply when I read The Mourning Hours, and she’s done so again with The Drowning Girls. This time she forces the reader to examine the question of perception versus reality. What happens when things aren’t really what they seem? At what point does perception matter more than the truth?
And, perhaps most importantly in this story: Who is the real monster, and who is the real victim?
Additionally, I found myself asking another question when I got to the end of the story: How far would I go to protect my daughters and my family?
At the end of the ARC I received, DeBoard talked about why she is drawn to family dramas, saying:
“When it comes down to it, most of our joys and sorrows are connected with our families—those few people on earth who know the best and worst of each other.”
In this story that is certainly true, and within The Drowning Girls there are a lot of dark secrets swirling around each of the characters. Some are a bit uncomfortable, but they help to keep the reader engaged and the book interesting. It’s a captivating and intriguing read, right up until the very end.
I received a galley of this book from the publisher as an advanced review copy.