The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is my first Carol Goodman novel and I think I'll go back and read her earlier work. This was a really good novel. This is such a well written book - the imagery created by the author is just wonderful! I enjoyed the intermix of the modern mystery and the ancient with the use of mythology throughout the book. Really effective way to tell this particular story!
This wasn't an 'easy' read yet it wasn't what I'd characterize as difficult either. It felt a bit academic but perhaps that was more about the location of the novel and the mythology pieces. In a few reviews, I noticed it was compared to Donna Tartt's The Secret History. I can see where that comparison comes from but this is the better book in my opinion.
The sense of place is done so well with this book. The place just seemed to come alive for me with each word. The gothic feel of this novel really makes it special. Goodman paces the novel very well, giving you enough to stay interested but not enough to ruin the final 'aha' moment at the end of the novel. I also really liked the strong characters in the novel ... they were very well done and real in their complexities. I wish that Goodman had spent a little more time on character development but it was adequate for me.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading more of Carol Goodman's work. If you like well written mysteries, especially those that are more focused on human complexities than just a good old fashioned 'who done it,' then this may be a book for you to pick up. Also, if you have an interest in mythology and novels that interweave mythology with story, this may be a book to read!
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