This book has moved into me; it occupies and haunts me. Marjorie Celona writes with an empathy that manages to be both enveloping and exact. How a Woman Becomes a Lake is about what it's like to long for your most secret self to be understood, while fearing that such understanding might kill you. It is a feral, echoing, complicatedly vulnerable work of art.
To the reader picking up this book for the first time: I envy you, such is the pleasure, depth, and beauty of the journey you're about to take. Haunting, deeply felt, ingeniously constructed, How A Woman Becomes a Lake is a supremely satisfying novel, masterful on every level. I could not put it down.
Stunning. Beautifully written, poignant, page-turning and shocking. A surefire hit
Icily unsentimental . . . An excellent novel about the indelible damage dysfunctional parenting can inflict on a vulnerable child
What happens when darkness is handed down from one generation to the next? How do secrets kept out of love warp the people who keep them? Marjorie Celona wraps powerful ideas about care-taking and morality around a tight, elegantly suspenseful story. This is a beautifully written book that I read compulsively, in a single sitting, all the way through to its haunting end.
A fast-paced thriller with razor sharp twists and turns
A highly original, beautifully crafted literary thriller packed with characters that linger long in the mind
What an absolute joy this book is. A stunning, literary novel told with such warmth and empathy. How A Woman Becomes a Lake is a chilling literary mystery that asks what happens when we are failed by the ones we love
Cool, clear, melancholy . . . A beautifully sad read
At its heart [How a Woman Becomes a Lake] is an exploration of toxic masculinity, but it is unusually compassionate and non-judgmental, recognising the complexity of both heroes and villains. It's a rarity: a book confected with satisfying artfulness that feels like a slice of real life
Poignant and lyrical, Celona makes finding out what happened to Vera a burning curiosity for the reader
A deeply empathetic and emotionally astute novel that reads like a thriller. Every sentence glints with an ice crystal's understated beauty. This is a profound page-turner
It is not lightly that I say: I could not put this book down. Celona's writing possesses the clearness and poetry of a compassionate, all-seeing ghost. Each time a character crossed the page, I felt absorbed by their consciousness, invited to see the story from a fresh, insistent perspective. On the one hand, How a Woman Becomes a Lake offers a felt study of guilt, grief and blame. On the other, the story will challenge your conceptions of love, which can be greedy, as well as sacrificial and absolving.
A thriller with stunning writing and real honesty about grief
Celona has the courage to take her time, letting us have a leisurely rummage inside her characters' heads, refusing to be trammelled by the usual rhythms of the whodunnit; and yet she manages to pull off twists worthy of Harlan Coben . . . It's a rarity: a book confected with satisfying artfulness that feels like a slice of real life.
Beginning with an abandoned car, "doors splayed, engine on", beside a frozen lake, this nuanced mystery unfolds, with twists worthy of Harlan Coben, into something satisfyingly artful that still feels like a slice of real life