It's a cold winter, on a lonely island when Mathilda drowns, leaving her child Ruth with sister Amanda to take care of her. Ruth's father eventually returns from the war and the three have to learn how to live with each other. Even though Ruth was only a few years old, she has a few fragmented memories including her being in the water and there being a baby. The rest of the book is Ruth piecing these memories together as she grows older under Amanda and her dad's watchful eye.
I've had bad luck with Oprah Book Club books in the past few years. This one isn't as bad as some of the othr ones out there. It was over dramatic, with Amanda being rather neurotic. I understand that she wants to take care of her niece after her sister dies but there's really no reason to the extremes she goes to in her thoughts of protecting Ruth.
The ending was a bit of a let down as well. I'm sure I hoped for the same type of ending that the majority of sane people would want for Ruth in this book. Unfortunately it was just more of the same for these characters.
First Line: "Ruth remembered drowning. "