Emotionally haunting. Richly evocative. Dangerously sexy.
A stirring story of resilience, courage and the healing power of love.
Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?
Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.
The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.
From one of my favorite authors, K.A. Tucker, comes a story of a girl who’s adrift in the vastness of her empty thoughts. Her identity forgotten. Her memories buried in the deep recesses of her mind. Her body, broken and bruised and just barely alive. Left for dead, our Jane Doe personifies resilience as she wakes to a life bereft of anyone she knows, with permanent reminders of a brutal act she can’t recall.
“My memory—my life—isn’t simply riddled with holes. It has been sucked into a black hole, leaving nothing but this battered husk behind, my mind spinning but unable to gain traction.”
She decides to give herself the name of Water… a word that somehow resonates deep inside and is seemingly meaningful as evidenced by a tattoo that links her to a past she can’t remember. Helped by her doctor’s family, Water moves in with a crotchety neighbor of theirs who has experienced the same kind of violence. Her memories continue to seem out of reach, until she feels an unexpected pang of familiarity with her doctor’s son, Jesse. But despite his intense gaze settling on her often, he is never around for her to chase that feeling down.
“… the truth is like water: it doesn’t matter how hard you try to bury it; it’ll always find some way back to the surface. It’s resilient.”
Jesse can barely contain himself and the raging turmoil of emotions every time he sees Water. There are so many things that should stay buried. Mistakes. Fear. Memories best forgotten. And although Water seems to be making his small town of Sisters a home, he fears she will never be safe from a past that has gripped her mercilessly for so long. A past that dictates he must stay away for her own protection. But the closer they get, the less he can retain his control, and what he’s tried so hard to bury threatens to burst through the surface.
“Maybe the truth is that we were meant to find each other. A simple truth that would have kept finding its way to us, no matter which path I tried to turn down.”
The novel alternates between various perspectives, past and present, Jesse and Water, as we piece together a history that inches closer to the savage truth of what happened when she was left to die in an abandoned lot. This is a stirring story of being trapped in an impossible situation, of falling in love and desperately wanting to break free. Of starting anew when one feels irreparably broken. Of choosing resilience over fear. Courage over desperation. K.A. Tucker pens a story quite different from her Ten Tiny Breaths series, but a story that encapsulates all the emotion, solid character development and addictive engagement we’ve come to expect.
“I am lost and yet somehow found.
I am afraid and yet somehow comforted.
I am drifting and yet somehow… home.”
About K.A. Tucker
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.