Other Press, 2012
224 pgs, 3.5 stars
ABOUT THE BOOK: Drowned is translated and I found the translation a bit dry in language and style. But the plot was compelling! Basically this college age girl, Marina, goes to visit her older sister, Stella, at her country home in Sweden. The sister is married to a writer, Gabriel, who is charming but has a dark side. Marina begins to fall in love with Gabriel and she finds herself getting sucked into a situation she doesn’t know how to (nor does she want to) extricate herself from.
I won’t say more for fear of ruining the plot, but the novel explores the female psyche when it comes to dominating male figures, and it also delves into sexist attitudes that still exist in Sweden (and probably in many other countries, including the US). My only beef with this novel is that the prose was so simple and dry. However, the story holds so much melodrama, intrigue, and foreboding. It really keeps you turning pages.
ABOUT THE OUTFIT: Dear Marina with your dry phrases and strange romantic sentiments, this sleeveless summer dress will keep you cool in the hot, humid days of summer which you spend with Stella in the greenhouse or with Gabriel on the porch.
You are always afraid you’ll disappear, but people will surely see you if you paint your eyes and eyebrows with this dark makeup. The sight of painted fingernails makes Gabriel wild, and you love having that effect on him. Paint your nails this deep purple and hope they catch his eye.
This light rain coat will keep you cool in the humid summer air but protect you from showers. The peachy color matches all of the flower pots at your sister’s house. Pull on your sister’s Wellington boots (these have lace up fronts, which is all the rage!) when you go for long walks (or desperate runs…) through the woods and by the pond.
Water lilies make the pond their own, and you hate them despite their beauty. There is something sinister about them. Wear this Alex and Ani bracelet with the water lily charm to remind you.
Finally, your purple over-the-shoulder bag holds that paper you still haven’t finished and all the books that Gabriel gives you to read. Though it’s always packed, you can’t find the will power to leave.