Friday, February 12, 2016

Burying Water ~K.A. Tucker

Tucker, K.A.  2014.  Burying Water. New York: Atria Books.
ISBN:  978-1476774183.  $15.00 USD.

I picked this book out and put in on a Christmas list on Amazon last year and promptly forgot about it once I opened it.  I’m glad it jumped off my bookshelf into my hands last week!  K.A. Tucker is a prolific writer of New Adult books, and came onto the scene with the 2013 publication of Ten Tiny Breaths, which I have not read.  The description of Burying Water reminded me of another New Adult novel I really enjoyed, The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, which was a 2015 Lariat winner (5 stars on Amazon, with over 1,150 reviews)!

In Burying Water, the traditional plot of an amnesiac awakening in a hospital is enhanced by the alternating chapters which go back in time and quickly impart the identity of main character.  You would think that revealing this information so early in the novel would take away from the story; but it actually propels the narrative and entices the reader to keep turning pages to find out the whole story, which isn’t revealed until the very end.

Jesse is a twenty-something mechanic in Portland, Oregon who agrees to repair a classic car for a Russian businessman, whom he soon suspects is a mobster.  He meets Alex, the very young wife of the Russian, and her obvious abuse by her husband brings out Jesse’s protective instincts.  In the future time-line, Alex awakens in a hospital with extremely severe injuries and has no idea who she is.  She eventually takes the name “Water” instead of the Jane Doe everyone calls her in the hospital, and goes to live with a cantankerous friend of her doctor in a small Oregon town.  Over time, she notices an attractive neighbor working on his muscle car who seems to be more than a little interested in her.

 As Jesse and Alex/Water’s stories alternate, the reader is drawn into not only their lives, but the lives of the surrounding characters. The author adeptly pulls all the plot threads together to a satisfying conclusion, making the amnesia theme fresh and unique.  This book is the beginning of a series, with three additional titles exploring the lives of other characters introduced in Burying Water.  Recommended for fans of New Adult novels, which deal with more mature themes than Young Adult books, and typically are more explicit.

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