The Seduction of Water (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

The Seduction of Water - Carol Goodman "The Seduction of Water" is a novel I came across a while after I read Carol Goodman's "The Lake of Dead Languages", the latter one of my favorite novels to date for its potent imagery, school-based stories of past and present, and careful character interactions molded into a tight mystery/suspense."The Seduction of Water" has an interesting premise regarding a woman named Iris Greenfeder, who decides to publish the story of a tale her mother, a published author, had once told Iris as a little girl. The piece gathers the attention of a literary agent, who suggests the existence of another manuscript that Iris's mother may have written in the time before her death. Iris returns to the Hotel Equinox, where she grew up, to find clues to the manuscript and recover information about her mother's death.I like Iris's narrative voice and it was very easy to follow her thoughts throughout the work. As constructive criticism, however, I think it took a while for the novel to hit the primary mystery. I would say that this was a give and take criticism for me - on one hand I appreciated the development and the care taken to set the background and atmosphere (especially the bits of romance peppered through the story), but on the other, I didn't like how long it took for the story to hit its full stride. It seemed slower than the progression of "The Lake of Dead Languages," and there were many characters to keep up with, some of them stood out very well (Aidan - whose name I love!, Hedda, and Joseph were among a few) while others were either not developed enough or were introduced in the story a little too late to care about them as much.I loved the fairy tale dynamic/theme through the story, even in the beginning where Iris's students were telling their assigned tales. It gave the book a mystical tone at times, and Goodman's diction and attention to detail further emphasizes this merit. However, I felt that the excerpts of the Selkie's story were a bit much towards the end - I understood that it was meant to parallel events in the story, but I saw it as more of an overemphasis and it would have been communicated better if it were more subtle in description.Overall, I enjoyed this novel, and would say that I'm apt to read it again. I'm looking forward to reading more of Carol Goodman's works in the future.Overall: 3.5/5