Title: Water Music
Author: Georgette Gouveia
Publisher:Greenleaf Book Group LLC
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Daniel and Dylan are the top swimmers in the world; Alex and Ali, the top tennis players. They play for God, country, family, and the need to escape their troubled pasts. In their quest to be the best, they also harbor a secret: Each is in love with his rival. The four hit it off at the Summer Olympics in New York and reconnect on an island vacation that gives new meaning to doubles, round-robin, and preliminary heats. By then, the shifting professional fortunes of each couple have begun to signal a change in their personal relationships as well, one that will lead to new alliances and betrayal and engulf them in tragedy. Told from their alternating viewpoints, WATER MUSIC is about power, jealousy, dominance, and submission. It’s about how the past informs the present and the future and how the choices made by nations, our families, and ourselves color our lives. Ultimately, it’s the story of how we come to accept those choices and learn to live with loss through love.
First let me say Water Music was not at all what I was expecting. I read the blurb and all I saw was four hot athletes and thought,HOT DAMN! I’M SO THERE! There are some sexy shenanigans, but by and large Water Music is about life-missed opportunities, stolen moments, shortcomings, pitfalls, regrets, triumphs, competitive spirit and how cruel life can be, not to mention how cruel those we surround ourselves with can be when you least expect it. Water Music is part of series, I guess, called Games Men Play. I don’t these particular games are strictly under the purview of men.
Water Music will not be for everyone due to topics tackled (suicide, abusive relationships) which will be hot buttons for some. It’s poignant and moving and beautifully written. Yes, the prose gets a little flowery sometimes. Yes, I could’ve done with less soup to nuts menu descriptions, but Ms. Gouveia has a way of weaving descriptions into the story so they become the tapestry on which events occur. Probably a side effect of having worked on a luxury lifestyle magazine for 20 years.
Where Water Music fell short for me was the connection between reader and characters. I never became fully vested in them. I liked two of them and they both got the shaft. No, not the good kind. I did empathize with all of them, but they never got under my skin. Tragic event after tragic event occur, yet I found myself saddened, yes, but disconnected. I think this is due, in part, to the usage of third person which kept me at arm’s length emotionally.
Water Music is divided by characters: Alex, Ali, Daniel and Devin. Each chapter gives us a different perspective usually with several time jumps that aren’t delineated well, but I believe the events occur over about a decade. Three of the four have suffered varying degrees of childhood abuse and/or neglect which led me to wonder if authors aren’t becoming overly reliant upon this trope to create depth in a character. The sex is getting thrown into my kinky-what-the-fuckery category. No spoiling but some really shitastic things go down in the bedroom that had me seething, not always but often enough.
I think Ms. Gouveia has enormous potential and Water Music is a good start. It’s clear she’s cultured, educated, wise, maybe a little existential and well traveled, all of which radiates off the page and will serve her well in future slice-of-life works. The story is engaging with a decent pace. There are few editing issues. The characters are flawed and fallible. The scenery and imagery are sublime. There’s a good chance my next vacation will be to Isle of Mykonos after reading this.
I’d recommend Water Music to those who enjoy heavy reads, vivid imagery and/or a learned, stylistic and somewhat flowery writing style.
I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a copy ofthis in exchange for my honest opinion.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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