The Drowning House: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A gripping suspense story about a woman who returns to Galveston, Texas after a personal tragedy and is irresistibly drawn into the insular world she’s struggled to leave.
Photographer Clare Porterfield's once-happy marriage is coming apart, unraveling under the strain of a family tragedy. When she receives an invitation to direct an exhibition in her hometown of Galveston, Texas, she jumps at the chance to escape her grief and reconnect with the island she hasn't seen for ten years. There Clare will have the time and space to search for answers about her troubled past and her family's complicated relationship with the wealthy and influential Carraday family.
Soon she finds herself drawn into a century-old mystery involving Stella Carraday. Local legend has it that Stella drowned in her family's house during the Great Hurricane of 1900, hanged by her long hair from the drawing room chandelier. Could Stella have been saved? What is the true nature of Clare's family's involvement? The questions grow like the wildflower vines that climb up the walls and fences of the island. And the closer Clare gets to the answers, the darker and more disturbing the truth becomes.
Steeped in the rich local history of Galveston, The Drowning House portrays two families, inextricably linked by tragedy and time.
"The Drowning House marks the emergence of an impressive new literary voice. Elizabeth Black's suspenseful inquiry into dark family secrets is enriched by a remarkable succession of images, often minutely observed, that bring characters, setting, and story sharply into focus." —John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
several companies, as well as a bank, to be astute. But his pleasure as he greeted his guests that night was real. They came through the door with their elbows tight against their sides, and stepped tentatively into the pool of light under the chandelier. But when Will spoke to them or took their hands, when he fixed his attention on them, they relaxed. Yes, he adjusted his manner, the way a good dancer adjusts to his partner’s height and ability. He was not the same with everyone. But it seemed
around? Hold still, while I tell you something.” She examined the thread, then licked the end. “It so happen, I have the very shade.” She went on talking while she sewed, and her voice soothed me the way it had when Patrick and I were small. Except Faline wasn’t recounting events from the paper. She was talking about herself. Probably she thought I was too young to comprehend or recall the details. This thing sometimes happens. No way to explain it. One love, too young, and you don’t get another
to fill in part of the lowest floor to gain the required three feet. This left spaces like the Carraday’s kitchen, which had originally been the first floor, half underground. Where iron fences survived, they were half buried as well. Photos taken during the grade raising show houses that seem to float above a swirling sea of fill. Their façades are blank, without expression, like the faces of sleepers. Neighborhoods and streets disappeared. Gas lines, water pipes, streetcar tracks were torn up
wondered how much Will knew about it. He had never quizzed us or threatened punishment, but one day he called us both into the kitchen and said gravely, You are not to make work for Faline. Did that mean he knew we had put the remains of our uneaten sandwiches down the laundry chute? Dripped honey between the keys of the piano? I felt suddenly ashamed. I turned away so he couldn’t see my face and walked toward the window. The shower was already over, chasms of sunlight slanted down through the
the seedier bars would lose some of their business and the police would get fewer disturbance calls. I wondered too if these same visitors would see their experience as different from what could be had in any other modest resort. Would they care about the Island at all? About what happened to it? Frankie regarded the jeep. “That’s Will’s car, isn’t it?” “Yes.” “You’re driving his car?” “For now. Otis is working on mine.” It had been three days since I’d seen Will, three days since the last