Cover Image: The Shimmer on the Water

The Shimmer on the Water

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The story is told over dual timelines. The narrative is very compelling and kept my attention. This is a good family drama with a mystery at its heart.

Was this review helpful?

An intelligent and emotional novel rich in deep and complicated characters and well written passages

Beautifully written and a great mystery which uses the dual time frame device well, if I have one criticism it is at times a little slow moving.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?


I was immediately drawn to this book by it’s beautiful cover and a title that fascinated me.

The story wandered gently rather than raced along, but there was more than enough going on to keep me interested and turning those pages.

I enjoyed the multiple threads to this story. And how they were all woven together.

There are some great characters in the book. I felt for Peyton, life had kicked her down but she got back up again. Her mother wasn’t as easy to like.
Eulla is brilliant. She is a feisty and determined lady.

I enjoyed this book, it covered a lot of difficult topics. Poverty, alcoholism, social isolation and violence. As well of course, as the disappearance of a child.

A well written, gripping saga, of family and friendships.

With thanks to Netgalley and Head Of Zeus for a digital arc of this title.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley for the eARC!

I wish that any of these characters were enjoyable, but I found all of them insufferable. That made the novel a bit for difficult to get through, but really did a nice job exploring family drama and a dual timeline.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this dual timeline mystery that took me back to the late 1990’s and the disappearance of a young girl called Daisy Wright. As the community of Fort Meadow Beach celebrate the Fourth of July the little girl disappears and is never found again. Our present timeline concerns Peyton Winchester who returns to her hometown to take up an opportunity to train as a journalist. This ambition has been the road not travelled up until now and Peyton has a second chance to fulfil her ambitions, However, the longer Peyton is in Fort Meadow Beach it’s the past, not the future, which comes calling. She can’t seem to forget Daisy’s disappearance and finds a link between Daisy and her own family. If she does discover the truth, will it compromise her family?
I enjoyed watching these broken and estranged family relationships being re-awakened as Peyton returns. The characters are flawed and I didn’t like some of them very much, but I enjoyed the dysfunction. This is about generational trauma so on one hand it’s about family and the love they have for each other, but it’s also disturbing, claustrophobic and very tense.
This is a story told between two different timelines; the past with Daisy and the young Eula. Eula had a terrible childhood, badly affected by poverty, but she’s determined that her future will be different. She fights with everything she has to break with the past and have a better future than the one her parents
gave her. Peyton remembers that on the day Daisy went missing, her family was acting strangely and she wonders whether one or more of them were involved with Daisy’s absence. She’s worried that if she keeps digging into what happened that day she might implicate the people she cares about. Both women are interesting characters that keep you reading. Eula isn’t perfect, but she is a product of her circumstances and I felt I understood her more as the book went on. I felt sad for Peyton who only needs some nurturing in order to flourish, but isn’t getting it. It was the characters that kept me reading,
but there were also twists and turns that delivered a few surprises towards the end.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this beautiful novel! It's craftily written with mystery and heartbreak. I was intrigued by this heartfelt book.

Was this review helpful?

Marina McCarron’s The Shimmer on the Water is a deftly written tale of love, lies and secrets that is so compulsively readable readers will struggle to put it down.

Maine, 1997 and the inhabitants of Port Meadow Beach have all gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July. There is great joy and excitement in the air, but all this jubilation is about to come to a sudden and startling end when four year old Daisy Wright vanishes off the face of the earth. Although the entire community searches high and low for the missing child, she is nowhere to be found. Daisy is never seen again and the mystery of her disappearance continues to haunt Port Meadow Beach for many more years to come…

Maine, Present Day and Peyton Winchester is at her lowest ebb. Everything that could wrong has gone wrong and Peyton is now single, unemployed and aimless. With nowhere to go and nobody to turn to, Peyton decides to return back home for the summer until she figures out the next chapter of her life. Desperate to fill in the time, Peyton enrolls in a journalism course, however, what started out as a mere hobby quickly becomes a compulsion as she starts looking into the disappearance of Daisy Wright all those decades ago.

As long-suppressed memories come to light, a determined Peyton vows to uncover the truth about Daisy’s whereabouts. But when the past and present begin to intertwine, Peyton begins to wonder whether some things should have been stayed dead and buried.

Clever, intense and emotional, The Shimmer on the Water is an intricately written tale that will keep readers turning the pages. Marina McCarron writes so well about women’s inner lives and the challenges they face that her characters come instantly to life and will ensure that readers find themselves completely invested in their lives.

Marina McCarron’s The Shimmer on the Water is a gripping and powerful tale written with style, heart and intelligence that will get under readers’ skins and keep them engrossed until the very last page.

Was this review helpful?

I thoroughly enjoyed this absolutely gorgeous book. This is one of those books that just completely draws you in, and I was totally captivated by it, and sorry when it had to come to an end.

There are three aspects to the story, Peyton’s story, Eualla’s story and Daisy’s disappearance. It’s not clear at first how these three strands of the story are linked, but as the book progresses the strands are beautifully woven together. The chapters alternate between the two characters’ stories, and I loved each story equally.

This is a totally immersive read, I just wanted to read it all the time and I was completely engrossed in it. I haven’t read anything by this author before but I’ll definitely be adding her to my favourite’s list. Beautifully written, atmospheric and flowing, I’d recommend this book to anyone.

Was this review helpful?

This was a dual time-line and it a mystery about a little girl that disappears. I did enjoy this mystery book but, I did feel the ending was too rushed which did spoil things for me. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I wanted to love this book so badly, and for awhile in the middle I did. Peyton felt hollow even as a narrator, so I looked forward to all of Eualla/Ellie/Lydia’s chapters as a child through early adulthood as she was such a vivid character. But even with her backstory, her interactions with her youngest daughter felt so unnatural and unexplainable. The story itself (especially Eualla’s) was so fascinating, but the ending felt like trying to put together too many puzzle pieces from the wrong puzzle. I almost felt like Daisy’s story was irrelevant to the plot altogether - following Peyton’s relationship with her mother and her mother’s relationship with those around her would have been such a great tale to follow.

Was this review helpful?

Have to admit am not usually a lover of stories set in the USA, but I devoured this one in a day.
It begins with the disappearance of a girl on a beach many years before & how a person investigates and tries to solve the mystery, definitely keeps you hooked to the very end

Was this review helpful?

A somewhat fragmented read especially in the beginning before the stories all came together. Written over three timelines, starting in the mid-sixties passing through events in 1997 and ending up in the present day. I must admit I was transfixed by Eualla's story in the sixties and wondered how on earth that part was going to resolve but once her story moved on it became more predictable. I almost found the events in 1997 superfluous and the eventual end of the book somewhat unsatisfactory. A plot with many twists and turns with the main theme of family secrets in many forms. Not particularly likeable characters throughout, apart from Eualla and Minnie, and I would have liked a little more from Minnie's story and how she coped. Overall probably a low 4 star verging on a 3.5 star due to the ending.

Was this review helpful?

An excellent book written in the past and present day it exemplifies how our past affects our present unless we make a conscious effort to make a change. Not a ‘how to book’ but rather a story of family dynamics, a little mystery and how eventually the main character finds her way. Thank you NetGalley and Head of Zeus for an early copy. This review is my opinion.

Was this review helpful?

This was a wonderful story. From the start I just knew I was going to love this story. The storyline was amazing as it follows 2 sisters struggling to survive from neglecting parents. It then goes on the follow the elder daughter through school. This was a rather emotional story. It definitely kept my concentration as I found it easy to connect with the characters. The development of the female protagonist was brilliant throughout the story. I just had to read this book in one sitting it was that good I just couldn't put it down and the pages were turned frantically. There were plenty of unexpected twists and turns some were rather shocking especially the end. This book is a brilliant historic fiction that im sure you will love.

Many thanks to the author and publishers for creating such an interesting story. I will definitely be looking out for more books by this fantastic author. 
The above review has already been placed on goodreads, waterstones, Google books, Barnes&noble, kobo, amazon UK where found and my blog either under my name or ladyreading365

Was this review helpful?

Well, this wasn’t at all what I expected, I wasn’t expecting the two two timelines or the thriller aspect of the story. What was I expecting? Well, I thought it would be a bit of a family drama with a little mystery mixed in, yes there is an emotional side to it where lives are entangled, but this is definitely more thriller.

Surprising this is a bit of a time-slip story split between 1997 and the present, which I wasn’t expecting, the story opens in 1997 in Fort Meadow Beach, Maine, where the town is rocked to its core by the disappearance of four-year-old Daisy. Fast forward to the present day, Payton has left Seattle after heartbreak and being fired from her job and made the tough choice but to go back home, back to Fort Meadow Beach. A place which brings far too many old memories back to her of her childhood and of her own life. But she is bored, she is tired of feeling like an extra part in her family home so she decides to do something while she figures out what to do with her life which leads her down a path she had forgotten about all those years ago and starts to investigate the disappearance of young Daisy Wright in an attempt to become a journalist, but throughout her investigating she starts to unearth more questions then answers and the answers may not be exactly what he wanted.

I have to admit that I did become a little confused as thought this was about Payton discovering the truth about the disappearance of Daisy, but that part of the story is incredibly overshadowed by other storylines which I thought dragged on far too long and slowed down the pacing which made reading a bit of a chore, but I persevered wanting to know what happened to daisy, but it was a little disappointing.

Overall this is an interesting thriller one which I think those who love the genre will thoroughly enjoy, but I hate to say it despite there being some really compelling parts which had me hooked this one wasn’t entirely for me, what I will say is don’t just take my word for it try this book for yourself!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Net Galley and Head of Zeus, Aria Publishing. The opinions expressed are my own.
This is a dual timeline family drama story that takes place in Maine. In 1997, on the 4th of July, a child disappears without a trace. In 2002 Peyton, who has lost her job, returns to stay with her family. As she is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life, she starts to investigate the disappearance of Daisy Wright. This story has a lot of family drama and secrets. It kept me absolutely hooked until the end. I would have liked the ending to be connected to the rest of the story a little more. Outside of that, it was a wonderful story. The plot and the characters both grabbed me right away. Highly recommend-you will not be disappointed.

Was this review helpful?

It’s time for real talk, peeps! Make sure you carve out some time when you start this story. Coz, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be mesmerised by the story and will be loath to put it down.

I love a good mystery. Some may call it nosiness (I say it’s natural inquisitiveness. *shrugs* Potato potahto!), but I always want to know everything. Just the same as Peyton…

Peyton Winchester’s life is at an impasse given recent events. With both her job and current relationship imploding its little wonder she wants to return to her childhood home to regroup.

Ha! Is all I’m going to say to that! *folds arms*

In deciding to try and solve the twenty-five-year-old disappearance of six-year-old, Daisy Wright, in her hometown, Peyton uncovers more than she bargained for. *whispers* Understatement!

This was another of what I’m calling ‘Laura’s Whiteboard Reads’. (I don’t care if The Mommy thinks I’ve finally lost the plot but I’m getting myself one. Trying to keep a mental track of all the clues is not easy!) I can admit to being a tad vocal as the story developed. Put it this way, it would be the perfect book pick for a buddy read or book club as I wanted to discuss and dissect every little thing as I was reading.

Told via dual timelines and multiple POV, The Shimmer on the Water will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the end. Speaking of endings, I’m still digesting this one days later. I’m not sure how I feel about it!

I will say this one thing; the rot may have set in a long time ago, but Peyton won’t let it define her.

Was this review helpful?

Disillusioned with life, her job, her broken relationship, Peyton returns home one summer. Her relationship with her parents is strained, particularly with her mother who she has never felt close to.

A young girl, growing up in abject poverty in Tennessee, has to be a mother to her younger sister when her own mother walks out leaving them with a feckless father and abusive older brother.

The author cleverly weaves these two stories together, along with a 25 year old mystery which Peyton attempts to solve during her summer sabbatical. This is a story about family, relationships and the way we are shaped by those around us.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review,

Was this review helpful?

When Peyton returns home after being fired she is drawn to the disappearance of a child 25 years ago when she was young. The story is not about solving the mystery. The focus is on family secrets and keeping them from those that you love as well as the devastation caused when they are revealed. A compelling story told over a dual timeline.

Was this review helpful?

The Shimmer on the Water is a fascinating literary mystery with intense family drama and compelling but not always likeable characters. It is a multi-timeline, and each story has its merits, although Eualla's story beginning in the 1960s, gripped me most. I loved the lyrical writing that contrasted with the disturbing events and relationships. The vividly created characters immerse the reader in their stories, and although gently paced, it's addictive reading.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher,

Was this review helpful?