Floating Underwater

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Paloma Leary wants to have a baby. Three miscarriages tell Paloma that conceiving might not be her path in life. Her three miscarriages might also be trying to tell her something more. In Tracy Shawn’s novel, Floating Underwater, Paloma must allow herself to be submerged into the warmth of mysticism, feminism, friendship, and love in order to overcome the secrets of her past.

The women in this novel represent different forms of strength that Paloma gathers in order to live the life she’s meant to live. Visions plague her and force her into a box that gives her such discomfort, her body physically reacts to it. She doesn’t know where she belongs in her own life and continuously doubts herself and her feelings. Enforcing those feelings of skepticism are the men in her life, albeit mostly innocuously, telling her that what she sees and feels isn’t real.

However, the town she lives in and the mysteries of the past tell her that what she sees and experiences are more than coincidences. Marriage and the bond between partners is tested when fear of the unknown starts to creep in. Paloma wants to embrace it but her husband is traumatized from his own childhood and cannot. Friendship is put to the test when secrets start splintering relationships. Paloma can see the splintering but her intense fear of disillusionment keeps her from understanding it.

Familial love is explored as well, from understanding her stern but numinous mother-in-law and the protective shroud of family surrounding her to better understanding her own father, whose desperation to keep his loved ones safe has created terrible anxiety. Mental health plays a huge role in this novel and marries with spiritualism and mysticism beautifully, giving each factor the respect it deserves. The writing is stunning and the backdrop of the oceanic town adds even more enveloping warmth to Paloma’s story. All the characters are well fleshed out and the women are truly beacons of light, each in their own way.

The story itself borders on being psychologically thrilling and even though I had gathered some of the clues the author dropped along the way, I truly did not see the twist coming as it unfolded. Paloma’s journey toward friendship, love in her marriage, and the realization that her fears have kept her eyes closed to everything happening around her is a journey worth following. This book will remind you to listen to the wind when it speaks and to look for what’s floating beneath the surface of the water.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Turbulent Muse Publishing
Publish Date 10-Sep-2021
ISBN 9781736664902
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue September 2021
Category Modern Literature