Member Reviews

Dreaming of Water had an interesting premise and a storyline that kept me reading. I thought the solution to the mystery was satisfying. That said, I felt some of the characters and their actions were not very natural or believable. The subplot of Astrid's ex-husband being involved with her former best friend felt unnecessary to the story. Overall, it wasn't my favorite thriller/mystery.

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This is my first book I've read by this author, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I immediately enjoyed this one, and it made me want to keep reading. The author throws you in a bunch of different directions and I could not predict how it would end. The author conveys the overall theme and feeling of coming home, coming to terms with the past, and understanding how it affects your future. Banner really shows how grief can have such a huge impact on a family and how how everyone responds to grief so differently.
Things I particularly enjoyed:
-The MC's job as a handwriting analyst was unique and interesting. It tied into parts of the story
-I felt I could visualize where things were happening and what it felt like
-Each character felt unique and played a certain purpose in the story
I recommend this read! I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Astrid has been living with the guilt of her sister's death for many years as she was supposed to be babysitting her, but Nina had trouble not running off. Now she's back in Heron Bay as her aunt Maude has found a letter that may change everything but when Astrid arrives, Maude seems to have been attacked.

Now that she's back, there are clues that what she thought had happened to her sister may be wrong and she may have been murdered. There are some more cryptic letters found and Astrid as a forensic document examiner (especially how people write) tries to figure out their mysteries.

This was a fast book and can be read in a day if you concentrate. I unfortunately started it when I started to move houses so it took me longer ๐Ÿ˜ž
But there were enough twists to keep me engaged at the times that I really was able to read a bunch in one session.

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Seventeen years ago Astridโ€™s little sister drowned while she was babysitting. Her family left Heron Bay quickly after never to return. That is until now. When Astrid gets a call from her Aunt Maude saying she found letters that changed everything, letters that were too important to share over the phone, Astrid reluctantly heads to Heron Bay. When she arrives she find her aunt unconscious the victim of an assault. With Aunt Maude in a coma, Astrid has no idea where to look for the letters that she knows are hidden in a โ€œsafe placeโ€. As memories start to surface from the past, Astrid is soon questioning everything and everyone. Did Nina really drown or was there something much more sinister at play? In a town rife with secrets, a sister still wracked with guilt and grief must look into the past before she can have a future. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC of this book.

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A.J. Banner has yet to disappoint me. She is one of several authors I "found" thanks to Bookstgram and I was so excited to read this book a little early! Since I also live in the Pacific Northwest I appreciate that all/most of her books take place here and even if I didn't live here I would enjoy going on an adventure to this part of the country because her details really make you feel as if you are here. Her books also read very fast, I'm always intrigued and want to see it through and this one was no different. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read, Dreaming of Water!

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Another auto-read author is A.J. Banner. I think my favorite of her books is a novel from a few years ago called The Poison Garden. That book had me staying up into the wee hours of the morning, I couldnโ€™t stop reading!

Dreaming of Water is her latest, and it was a good read! I thought this was solid- it held my interest and I was satisfied with the plot and the ending.

Plot:

Astrid Johansen swore she would never return to Heron Bay, Washington. In that idyllic coastal town, her little sister, Nina, drowned in a reflecting pool under Astridโ€™s watch seventeen years ago. Though guilt has kept her away, Astrid canโ€™t ignore her aunt Maudeโ€™s urgent plea to come back. Maude claims to have found a letter that will change everything about the past.

When Astrid arrives in Heron Bay, she finds Maude unconscious, perhaps the victim of an attack. As Maude lingers in a coma, Astrid uncovers alarming evidence that Ninaโ€™s drowning that tragic night was no accident. But in a town rife with secrets, and in a family still fractured by grief, who knows the truth?

Astridโ€™s investigation leads her down a trail of dark memories, lies, and betrayals that will shatter her perception of everyone she thought she knewโ€”even herself.

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First off - handwriting analysis is super interesting, and I really enjoyed that aspect of this book! I genuinely have no idea how close to reality this was portrayed, but it was really cool and sounded smart in the book. I really enjoyed Banner's The Poison Garden and In Another Light, so I was excited for Dreaming of Water. The excitement was well deserved, as this was super enjoyable! I was ultimately shocked by the outcome - I hadn't put things together in quite that way and it was nice to be surprised. Another super enjoyable book from a great author!

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๐ƒ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐–๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ
๐๐ฒ ๐€.๐‰. ๐๐š๐ง๐ง๐ž๐ซ
๐๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ก๐ž๐ซ: ๐‹๐š๐ค๐ž ๐”๐ง๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ 
๐๐ฎ๐› ๐ƒ๐š๐ญ๐ž: ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ.๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ.๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘


It begins with a confession, โ€œI held her underwaterโ€ฆโ€

We learn early on that Astrid Johansen lost her little sister, Nina, seventeen years ago. She drown in a reflecting pooling on a night Astridโ€™s parents asked her to watch Nina.

Astrid has stayed away from her beautiful hometown, riddled with guilt and pain. But then her Aunt Maude makes an urgent plea for her to come home, claiming she has found letters that will change everything about the night Nina died.

When Astrid arrives, she finds her aunt unconscious, an apparent victim of an attack.

The story becomes a mix of family drama and secrets. Plus there is investigative work as Astrid is a forensic document examiner. I liked that the letters Aunt Maude had referenced were typed on an old typewriter, which in itself became an important clue.

Youโ€™ll be flipping pages to discover who made that chilling confession!

Thank you @suzyapprovedbooktours and @ajbanner1 for a spot on tour and a gifted book.

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When A.J. Banner comes out with a new book I always get excited because I love reading her stories and this one did not disappoint. Dreaming of Water is a mystery that kept me turning the pages. It builds slowly giving you little clues until finally you get the complete picture of how all the events actually happened. This story centers around Astrid Johansen. Years ago back in Heron Bay her little sister Nina drowns in a reflective pool belonging to her rich neighbors. Her parents had somewhat of a rocky marriage which leads you to believe that there might have been infidelity that took place. Ninaโ€™s drowning causes a lot of emotional feelings such as guilt and remorse and the need to find out the truth is of utmost importance to both Astrid and her Aunt Maude. Thereโ€™s threats and scare tactics involved that add to the suspense. But in the end everything is brought out into the open so it all makes sense and peace of mind and forgiveness is achieved. Astrid is left understanding why she has made some of the choices she has and realizes she can now move on with her life. Iโ€™d like to thank NetGalley for the arc to read and review. I really enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it along with all of the authors other books and Iโ€™m giving it a 4 star rating.

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This one took me a little to get into, but once the mystery took off, I couldnโ€™t put it down! Told from present day, but with chapters from the past we are trying to put together what happened to Nina all those years ago. The book felt like it was going to be a normal mystery thriller, but turned into this psychological thriller with twist and turns I was not expecting. I was definitely an emotional ending. I would have loved some more romance between Astrid and Conor. I loved the setting of this book and wished I could have been there. Iโ€™m excited to read another book from AJ!

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Dreaming of water is an unputdownable family suspense novel by A. J. Banner. This story pulled me in from the very first page and that's unusual for me.
After an urgent phone call from her Aunt Maude, Astrid Johansen is finally going back to Heron Bay, Washington. She hasn't been there for almost two decades, ever since her much younger sister, Nina, was found dead in a neighbor's reflecting pool. While false guilt has prevented her from visiting, Aunt Maudeโ€™s recent request has changed everything.
When she gets to her aunt's house, she sees that her aunt has been seriously hurt. Now that Aunt Maude is in a coma, Astrid needs to try and find out what her aunt needed to show her, on her own. Unfortunately, the town seems determined to keep its secrets.

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Dreaming of Water by AJ Banner was a wonderful suspenseful novel, unpredictable and interesting. Delving into a past trauma with all the disappointments and discoveries it brings, full of surprising and painful truths to navigate. Thank you NetGalley, the author and publisher for the review copy. All opinions are my own.

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The novel concerns a woman who returns to her childhood summer home to discover her aunt unconscious. Has she been attacked? She then finds out that her aunt has been investigating the drowning of her sister when she was a child.
The book is essentially a mystery novel and reads a bit like an episode of Murder she Wrote
Itโ€™s turns a bit silly about 3/4 of the way through where it starts to be really unbelievable at this stage, I stopped enjoying it as much
The books, seaside setting is very atmospheric and forms large part of the story
The author has a clear easily read, prose style, and the novel was an easy read
I read an early copy of the novel on NetGalley UK the book is published in the UK on 10th of October 2023 by Lake union publishing.
This review will appear on NetGalley, UK, good reads, and my book blog bionicsarahsbooks.Wordpress.Com

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My Review
โ˜•๏ธโ˜•๏ธโ˜•๏ธโ˜•๏ธโ˜•๏ธ

This book releases October 10th 2023.

Dreaming of water.
By AJ Banner..

Psychological fiction

Another fabulous book and I really do mean that..
Banner writes The most fabulous books.
Every single book I have ever read by this author Has been a five star read. I would personally give them each more stars if it was allowed.. Because her work is phenomenal.

Another book I would love to be able to read for the first time... I've only had a few books I can say This about. This Is definitely one of those.

Astrid Johansen,

Received a phone call from her aunt, Back home in. Heron Bay. But when she Returns home things are not what she expected. Her aunt isn't home but in the hospital. Things are not like they should be.

There are things her aunt has told her.. Things that pertain to the past Things that will be Clues.
Things from seventeen years ago. But will she be able to Figure out the order of things. Figure out what really happened all those years ago. What really happened. The key ๐Ÿ”‘

death and so much more.
infidelity. Rich people. Things that you never can imagine. And everything else that goes with.

And I absolutely loved the twist this book had...

This was absolutely Phenomenal book. I truly truly Loved this story.

@ajbanner

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This was a real page turner. It was a great blend of complicated family histories & dynamics plus mystery and suspense. Astrid carried so much guilt for so many years and I was eager for her to find the truth so she could finally move past the tragedy of her young sisterโ€™s death. The writing was wonderfully descriptive and I could clearly picture Heron Bay and all the unique characters.

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Well written, well thought out with a solid mystery. It kept me thinking as it was thought provoking and the mystery added an extra layer. I really enjoyed it and will read more from this author.

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

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When Astrid was just a kid, her younger sister do drowned in the town Heron Bay, Washington. She has never returned, but sheโ€™s back at the behest of her favorite Aunt Maude. Maudeโ€™s reasoning that she has found a letter that will change the last.

But when Astrid arrives, she finds Maude unconscious and calls an ambulance. Now that Maude is an a medical coma, Astrid is trying to find out what happened to Maude, but also sees that her sisterโ€™s drowning may not have been so accidental. What else is this small town hiding?

I flew this through this novel! I had to know what happened to Maude and Nina. Their poor parents were never the same after what happened with Nina, but they blamed Astrid and made everyone miserable.

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What a great mystery story! I loved all the twists and turns that drew me in and left me guessing right until the end. However, I also really appreciated how A. J. Banner shows that trauma can effect a family as a whole, as well as each individual, for many years. Thanks #NetGalley #LakeUnionPublishing

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Well written, well thought out with a solid mystery.

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Another fantastic book by Aj Banner! I loved Astrid, the main character. โ€œSome broken things can never be fixedโ€ brings pain from the past. Family tragedy changes each member of Astridโ€™s family and she has to piece together what really happened so she can heal and move on with her future.

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