Love, Mystery & Cone Snail Venom

Mar 15, 2014 | book reviews

I just devoured The Heiress of Water by Sandra Rodriguez Barron. It’s been sitting on my shelf for years. It’s actually an Uncorrected Proof left over from my Borders Bookstore days. I’ve created a sort of reading system for myself to minimize the post completion stress of picking out another book to read (anal retentive, I know). At any rate, I’ve been reading my fiction section (yes, I have that many books that it warrants a section) alpha by author. So next up was Barron and to my lovely satisfaction it is a highly enjoyable read.

I hate spoilers so if you’re hoping for a summary of the plot you won’t find it here; however, I will express what resonated with me. Read it and let me know if you feel the same.

Set mostly in El Salvador, The Heiress of Water is written in the third person with a multiple perspective narrative. Barron quite seamlessly leads the reader from past to present and back again without losing the thread and each perspective shift only enhances the narrative. I was on the edge of my seat at every page turn. I really enjoyed seeing through their eyes and being in the mind of each character. This style of writing made me feel more of a bond with the characters and I was able to empathize with them more readily.

I finished the book within three days and was sad to say goodbye to it. Barron’s words painted a beautifully visual and highly tactile experience. The lush descriptions very much enhanced the character development since a theme throughout explores the tie that key characters have to nature. This hit home for me and I reveled in her telling of the smell of the sea, the sound of the waves, the heat of the sun and sand, and the deep call of the ocean that resonates through my and the main character’s soul.

In this novel, there are love triangles, mysterious disappearances, death, exploration of parent/child bonds, investigation of personal theology, political tension and oddly enough it’s all strung together with the help of sea snails. The Heiress of Water is a great read if you want to experience down-to-earth characters enduring tribulations and learning lessons of love, self, and life.

What are you reading?

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