The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels

Summers and lake houses are for fun, sunshine, no care in the world, bonfires, parties, and often times secrets. Kendra has decided to move back into her grandfather’s old cabin on the lake, she needs inspiration after receiving an anonymous letter making her question her previously published novel. Was there unknown secrets, something she missed, did she tell the story wrong from her perspective?

Unable to find inspiration and with a looming deadline, Kendra knows that the only way to still her wandering mind is to try and figure out who wrote the letter and to maybe try to come to terms with what happened over those summers. Will she find the answers she is looking for, and finally be able to put the past to bed?

This was a slow burn of a novel. I loved it! The author did an amazing job of slowly feeding you the pieces of what happened over those summers while she is grappling with her life currently and her ability to be a writer, or failed writer. I loved the lake setting as well, as often that is a place that is looked as a safe and a fun time for families and friends. Often this is not the case, and secrets are held deep with in the waters of these summers. Thank you to JustRead Tours and Revell for the free book. I will be picking up her other novels to read as well.

~ Book Blurb ~

An anonymous letter from a Very Disappointed Reader sends a novelist back to the lake where she spent her childhood summers in order to prove that what she wrote happened the way she’d remembered. But the truth turns out to be far more complicated, showing that sometimes the story we think we’re telling is another story altogether.

The best fiction simply tells the truth.
But the truth is never simple.

When novelist Kendra Brennan moves into her grandfather’s old cabin on Hidden Lake, she has a problem and a plan. The problem? An inflammatory letter from A Very Disappointed Reader. The plan? To confront Tyler, her childhood best friend’s brother–and the man who inspired the antagonist in her first book. If she can prove that she told the truth about what happened during those long-ago summers, perhaps she can put the letter’s claims to rest and meet the swiftly approaching deadline for her next book.

But what she discovers as she delves into the murky past is not what she expected. While facing Tyler isn’t easy, facing the consequences of her failed friendship with his sister, Cami, may be the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.

Plumb the depths of the human heart with this emotional exploration of how a friendship dies, how we can face the unforgivable, and how even those who have been hurt can learn to love with abandon.

~ Goodreads – About the Author ~

ERIN BARTELS is the award-winning author of WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS (a 2020 Michigan Notable Book, winner of the 2020 Star Award from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association in both the debut and general fiction categories, and a 2019 Christy Award finalist), THE WORDS BETWEEN US (a 2020 Christy Award finalist and a 2015 Rising Star finalist from WFWA), ALL THAT WE CARRIED, and THE GIRL WHO COULD BREATHE UNDER WATER (coming January 2022). 

Erin lives in the capital city of a state that is 40% water, nestled somewhere between angry protesters on the Capitol lawn and couch-burning frat boys at Michigan State University. And yet, she claims it is really quite peaceful.

Find her on Facebook @ErinBartelsAuthor and on Instagram @erinbartelswrites. 

Erin Bartels

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