A haunting, utterly compelling and brilliantly written literary suspense novel
Apparently buckling under the strain of caring for wounded soldiers, Amanda retreats from her nursing job at the close of the First World War to her family's farm on a lake in rural Wisconsin, hoping that life with her beloved sister Mattie and her niece, three-year-old Ruth, will restore her. But very soon Amanda comes to see that her old home is no refuge; she has carried her troubles with her.
Months later, Mattie's husband Carl returns from the war to find his wife mysteriously drowned and his daughter being raised by prickly and possessive Amanda. What happened the night Mattie died For years the consequences of that event reverberate, and the truth, when it is finally revealed, is both dramatic and extraordinarily moving.
'A gripping read' Choice magazine - Choice
'A compelling mystery' The Times - Play (The Times)
'Assured and dense debut...Schwarz's real achievement is in matching the complexities of her plot with vivid characters' The Scotsman - The Scotsman
'Austere, tense, painful and rewarding, this book keeps you reading until the vertebrae sulk - and the aftertaste has the bitterness of a linctus whose sharpness conveys its benefit' Frank Delaney - Frank Delaney
In [the] assured last stroke, Ms Schwarz affirms the psychological underpinnings of a book that would have worked page-turningly well as a straightforward mystery alone. She gives it the extra wisdom that marks DROWNING RUTH as the chilling, precociously good start to a bright new novelist's career - New York Times
'This is a book that really ought not to be missed' Sentinel Sunday - Sentinel Sunday
A strong sense of portent and unusually vivid characters distinguish this mesmerizing first novel about horrifying family secrets and nearly annihilating guilt. DROWNING RUTH is a complex and rewarding debut - Anita Shreve
A riveting first novel... A very suspenseful tale, one that will keep readers up shivering in the heat of an August night - USA Today