I can’t get this book out of my head. I keep reflecting on the characters, the emotion of the storyline, and the growth the characters experienced throughout the novel. I loved “aging” with the characters. This is something I wish more authors would incorporate in their novels, by allowing characters and readers to come full circle together within the pages of the story.
Maggie is a cheeky little girl, ecstatic about planning her “wedding” with her brother’s friend, Brooks. When Brooks shows up late to their wedding rehearsal in the woods, Maggie heads off to look in another location for him when she comes across an unfortunate scene, which leaves her a shell of the child she once was. When Brooks finds Maggie, he thinks he is the cause of the horror she faces and decides to never leave her side, making a promise to be her friend and love her forever.
The story is divided into three parts, when the kids are 10, then 18, and 10 years later at 28 years old. I found the middle section of the novel dragged slightly with little developments until the very end. However, the end of the story sucked me in and didn’t let me go. I’m still reeling and emotionally touched by this beautiful novel days later.
As someone who hates spoilers or knowing too much about a book, I don’t want to give too many details away. I feel like books are enjoyed in the way they were meant to be when the reader knows less information. This book is about overcoming deep hurts from past events. We sometimes don’t realize how much past traumas can continue to hurt us, if we refuse to confront them head on. Maggie did the best should could with overcoming her circumstances, but kept being dragged back to the day in the woods by people’s perceptions of her. With the help of Brooks and several years, Maggie was able to find her inner strength and move on to a better life.
One of my favorite aspects of this book was Maggie’s infatuation with literature herself! What could be better for a bibliophile than books within the book being read? The characters use the books to communicate their thoughts and feelings with each other, something I enjoy doing with those closest to me. To truly get to know someone is to understand the reasons behind their love for certain novels. It can form a deeper understanding and connection between people that would never have had the chance to blossom before.
I also loved the symbolism of the anchor necklace Brooks gave Maggie, and the repetitive use of special moments to create memories between the characters.
“The world keeps spinning because your heartbeats exist.”
While I felt this story was an enchanting read, I was planning to give it 4- 4.5 stars until I read the Author’s Note at the end. Sometimes I forget how much heart and soul authors pour into the pages of their works. Brittainy C. Cherry definitely gave us a part of her heart when she wrote The Silent Waters. I had to bump it up to 5 stars for the personal connection I felt to the book and Brittainy after reading the tidbit at the end. I give out stars like candy on Halloween, so forgive me for not being more of a cynic.
This truly was a beautifully crafted story of love and redemption, that all lovers of this genre would surely enjoy. I highly recommend diving into The Silent Waters. 😉