Ghosts are real and Ghosts are in our head; this is the debate that splits most supernatural novels, as often, the ghosts represent some deep seeded psychosis of the character. Bodies of Water spans two frames, with a dual narrative, one set in Victorian London, following Evelyn as she recovers from a nervous breakdown at Wakewater House, an establishment specialising in the science of water therapy housed in a rather isolated spot besides the enchanting, silken flow of the River Thames. In the modern day, Kirsten moves into the renovated Wakewater House in the aftermath of a breakup. Like every haunted house novel, both women finds themselves perplexed by the sight of shadowy figures and mysterious happenings in and around Wakewater as both women deal with the daunting feeling of being isolated. Sometimes loneliness is a comfort we seek, often to our own regret.
This isn’t your tradition novel about individuals haunted and terrorised by apparitions; it’s more sedate, calm and almost medicated affair that fuzzes the reader with a deliberate haze. The cast of characters is small and likeable, making it more personal and contained piece, heightening the claustrophobia felt by both main characters as they deal with their own demons.
The story deals with many interesting themes, such as the role of women in society, the pursuit and aftermath of romance, betrayal, obsession and duty, which tie in nicely with the underlying notion that the past is trying to tell us something. This isn’t your usual jump and scare ghost story, but it still chills with the history of the treatment of women in society, giving a reader a message they perhaps never set out to learn.