Review: Bodies of Water, T. Greenwood

  • Bodies of Water, T. Greenwood
  • 384 pages
  • historical women’s fiction
  • published September 2013

Bodies of WaterBlurb from Goodreads:  In 1960, Billie Valentine is a young housewife living in a sleepy Massachusetts suburb, treading water in a dull marriage and caring for two adopted daughters. Summers spent with the girls at their lakeside camp in Vermont are her one escape–from her husband’s demands, from days consumed by household drudgery, and from the nagging suspicion that life was supposed to hold something different.

Then a new family moves in across the street. Ted and Eva Wilson have three children and a fourth on the way, and their arrival reignites long-buried feelings in Billie. The affair that follows offers a solace Billie has never known, until her secret is revealed and both families are wrenched apart in the tragic aftermath.

Fifty years later, Ted and Eva’s son, Johnny, contacts an elderly but still spry Billie, entreating her to return east to meet with him. Once there, Billie finally learns the surprising truth about what was lost, and what still remains, of those joyful, momentous summers.


“Oh My Goodness That Was Good,”  That is what I keep saying to myself when I think back on this book.  If I had to sum it up with one word, it would be consuming.  From the very first page I was hooked.  When I was away from it, I thought about it, thought about what the characters were going to do next. It took me only a few days to finish this, and it would have been less if I didn’t have to take care of my kids or sleep. As I write this I am trying to put my finger on exactly what I loved so much.

At it’s heart, this is a story about a friendship between two women. Even though Billie really didn’t want to make a new best friend, she couldn’t help being drawn to Eva.  They had so much in common;  kids the same age and husbands who had a darker side.  Each found that person to be absolutely honest with.  We have all had friends like that, ones that just fit us perfectly.  That friendship made this novel so so readable.  I could totally identify with their day to day activities, even considering that they did these homemaking activities differently in 1960.  The camaraderie was the same.

I also loved the writing. It was so accessible.  I never noticed that I was reading words on a page.  From the beginning, I felt as though I was hovering right above these women, watching their story unfold in detail.  From sitting at their table folding laundry and planning girl scout meetings, to the more desperate and private moments of their friendship.  The writing was so good, that when the topics slipped out of my comfort zone, I still could not stop reading.

The wonderful writing created “real” characters, that you either loved or hated, or both.  I loved Eva the best, she was so alive, so much fun. I can’t imagine not wanting a friend just like her.  Minor characters were given just as much attention.  They may have had a small role, but not a small impact on the story.

The pacing of this book sealed the deal for me.  The beginning was just as good as the ending.  There was no boring parts or unnecessary filler.  It was a rollercoaster of real life events and emotions.  The story was bittersweet and uplifting at the same time.

This story has a huge twist in the middle.  I won’t go into detail, but it is not hard to figure out if you read the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. If you like women’s fiction, have an open mind, and want to read a really well written, engaging story, Bodies of Water is a perfect choice.


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2 thoughts on “Review: Bodies of Water, T. Greenwood

  1. Wow I’ve never heard of this book or author before but it sounds like a wonderful read. Thanks for sharing your well written review :-)

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