Cover Image: The Woman Underwater

The Woman Underwater

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Member Reviews

This is the first I have read by this author and for the most part I enjoyed the book. The story was great and despite some areas where I thought it dragged a bit, I was captivated enough to stay with it. I’m glad I did because overall, I felt the author redeemed herself with the finishing touches. Though I was not riveted, I will read more from this author. I was given an advanced copy by Netgalley for an honest review and my opinions are my own.
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Victoria’s life has drastically changed since the disappearance of her husband, years earlier. She’s now a caretaker of her ailing mother and her son has left for school. She still suffering from the aftermath of her husband’s tragedy. The premise of the story was interesting and grabs the reader’s attention. In my honest opinion, it seemed like the story was scattered in different directions. But, it comes together nicely at the end, which is great. 

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and Secret Harbor Press, LLC for this ARC, I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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The Woman Underwater by Penny Goetjen is my first book by this author.  When I read the synopsis and saw the cover, I was very excited, sounded like my kind of book!  The book has mystery and suspense, and even some paranormal flare to it.  It started out like it was going to grab you to keep reading, but I felt it slowed down goes off more on others things going on in the book.  What I thought was a murder mystery kind of fizzled out until the end and even that did not turn out to be a page turner for me!  I was a little disappointed that it was not what I expected, but I recommend you read it and form your own opinion.

Thank you NetGalley, Secret Harbor Press and Penny Goetjen for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
#netgalley  #secretharborpress.  #arc #pennygoetjen
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netgalley copy : i don't know how to feel about this, but it didn't throughly suck i guess.
"Yet the heart doesn’t always listen to reason. The heart yearns to love." i mean? poetic
but yea no i didn't really connect with it despite knowing i should? i don't know, so 2 stars.
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I really enjoyed reading The Woman Underwater by author Penny Goetjen. It was my first time reading this author and I found her writing style very easy to read. I’d classify this as a murder mystery that has other elements included such as premonitions that I’d consider paranormal. The main character, Victoria, a mother of 2 teenaged sons, has been dealing with the aftermath of a missing husband. He’s been gone for 7 years with absolutely no trace of where he could be. No body, no car, is he dead or could he still be alive? He disappeared while chaperoning his students on a trip to NYC. He was a history teacher at a private boarding school. It’s the same school where his youngest son now attends and the older one once did. Victoria’s mother, who has come to live with her, is experiencing early signs of Alzheimer’s. It is she that has the premonitions, and she’s usually spot on with what she sees. Victoria herself receives signs or clues through her dreams. I thought it was really clever how the author wrote that into the storyline. I found this to be a very gripping and intense read and I really enjoyed it a lot! I would recommend it to others and I might even purchase a physical copy for myself. I’d like to thank NetGalley for the arc that I found on the Read Now section. This is a very good story and I’m happy that I found a new author to enjoy. I’m giving this a 5 star rating because the story held my interest and kept me wanting to read more!
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The Woman Underwater is the story of a woman named Victoria Sanders, whose husband, a history professor at Litchfield Academy, a boarding school for boys, mysteriously disappears while on a school trip to New York City.
Seven years pass, but Victoria is still plagued with nightmares and is unable to accept the fact that her husband is really gone. However, shocking truths start getting uncovered that make Victoria question everything and everybody around her.
This was a tense read that had me hooked from chapter 1.. It's fast paced and spooky and I didn't expect anything that happened.
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The Woman Underwater has great potential, but it fell flat for me about half way through. It felt pretty disjointed and honestly I started to get bored of the story. I kept setting this aside to read other books because it just seemed to be rather bland and getting nowhere, it did finally pick up towards the end, but it still wasn't something that held my attention for a long time.
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This book had big potential but it fell flat for me. The first 50% of this book was so boring honestly I felt like dnfing it was very draining to read in the beginning and I felt like I picked up the wrong book. Finally, after the 50% mark, the action finally started but the book still didn't wow me and I was overall just bored with the whole book. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Thanks to Netgalley for early access to this title. Release date: July 26, 2022

I really enjoyed the dark academia supplied by the boarding school setting in The Woman Underwater, and it was what initially drew me to request it, but it was tough for me to get into this book. Goatjen does provide fantastic imagery that easily paints a vivid picture of the setting for the reader.

It wasn't until around 50% of the way through that the action picked up and started to focus on the mystery the book is supposed to be about though. I felt like I was reading a women's fiction novel rather than a gripping thriller/mystery. The plot just seemed to get lost in all of the backstories, and then the unfolding of the mystery was rushed and crammed into the last 20% of the book.
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First, many thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read and review this book.

The plot was very good and had alot of potential, however I found it a very slow read. Victoria's husband has been missing for 7 years and there were no clues found. Now her kids are off in college, one in the same college that her husband worked at. She's trying to move on and just can't without knowing what happened to her husband, 

It seemed like the telling fell flat, it was missing something.
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Wow, it was gripping and tense.  Twisty and unpredictable and kept me guessing to the end. Highly recommend.
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The Woman Underwater is the story of a woman named Victoria Sanders, whose husband, a history professor at Litchfield Academy, a boarding school for boys, mysteriously disappears while on a school trip to New York City. 
Seven years pass, but Victoria is still plagued with nightmares and is unable to accept the fact that her husband is really gone. However, shocking truths start getting uncovered that make Victoria question everything and everybody around her.

The story slowly builds up as one progresses further, and small but relatively insignificant details are revealed along the way. It takes time to piece together how the scraps of information fit together in the large narrative, but the way in which they are conveyed keeps one intrigued. By the end of the book, one is able to connect and sympathise with Victoria Sanders. However, the ending falls short of the suspense that was built throughout the book. It turns predictable, and some of the story arcs are tied up quickly to avoid loose ends. The writing undoubtedly is successful in immersing the reader in the world of Victoria Sanders. However, the reader is left wanting more information to make sense of everything.

 Overall, the book has excellent world-building with exciting characters who could have been explored more so that the reader could make sense of the way the events unfolded and the reason behind the manner in which they did.
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Victoria is a newly empty nester, still reeling from the disappearance of her husband, Robert, seven years ago.

Now, having to care for her mother with signs of Alzheimer's, and her youngest son leaving for the school where her missing husband was head of the History Department, Victoria still has wounds to heal.

I think the plot got a bit lost along the way, and somewhat convoluted, but glad to see that disappearance was cleared up.
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3 Stars 
NOTE: I received early access from NetGalley, for this manuscript, in exchange for writing an impartial review. Completed on 6/11/2022.
Pros and cons from my own perspective.

Cons
Throughout a large portion of the novel, it's very sparse on supposed plot line and the mysterious details regarding the disappearance of her husband. So many other trivial day to day events are dealt with instead. Her mother, her love life, her rather selfish, self-contained BFF, her side businesses, etc. 

Some may see this and the next one as spoilers, but she never pursues the lead of the young woman and the photos, and the mysterious key, after the young woman is swept away by the head master of the school. Doesn't even show concern that she may possibly be in danger, especially given the way the young woman seems to be sneaking around to get her this info, and the sudden appearance and reaction of the head master at their meeting place.

Calls and leaves a message for the ex-boyfriend, "in case anything happens", and then when he shows up after something happens, she's surprised.

Pros
I really did enjoy the flow of the book for the most part. It was a bit light on the mystery aspect, until the end, but it still held my interest. The writing style carried me along at a good pace, and held my interest enough to complete the book. There was never a time that I felt like abandoning the novel, even if I didn't always agree with the author's chosen formatting of laying the storyline out.

The final wrap-up was worth sticking it out. Much more involved then what I had been anticipating.

The 2 pros alone, made my rating of this very difficult. I vacillated between 2 and 4 stars, and had to put some time and distance between the end, and my final rating.
I ended up going with 3 Stars, which I consider average, because it was a light, entertaining read, of which it provided me with more than a few hours of gratifying recreation.
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Gripping and tense right from the very start, it was a compelling read taht was fast paced and atmospheric. Twisty and unpredictable and kept me guessing until the end.
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Thank you to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I realized shortly after I picked up this ARC that I haven’t quite read a book like this before. Gotejen does an amazing job at painting her imagery throughout the novel but can fall a bit short when it comes to plot clarity. While I may have found myself confused at times throughout the book, I overall I thought this was a solid read with an interesting story line.
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Fast paced thriller that will leave you reeling.  I absolutely enjoy the plot and really loved the characters as well.  Anyone who loves a thriller will love this book!
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Penny Goetjen's storyline is excellent and the novel was well written. Victoria Sand's husband has been missing for seven years with no clues to his whereabouts. Although involved romantically with other men during her grief, Victoria cannot move past the loss of her husband Robert. The plot is constructed cleverly and connects in a way that keeps you glued to the pages. There are moments of tension and suspense with some unexpected twists and discoveries as the story unfolds. The novel is worthy of five (5) stars.
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, Secret Harbor Press, LLC and  by #NetGalley. Opinions expressed are completely my own. 

I didn’t put it down. Vivid imagery, suspenseful and thrilling. Kudos to Penny Goetjen.
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