Review: The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish
Two Dollar Radio, pp. 353
Cost: $16.99 (paperback)
Relationships are examined in relation to major events that occur throughout the novel. Edith and Mae’s relationship is at the forefront of the novel, the two sisters are almost always at odds with one another, leading to several instances of interpersonal conflict. The conflicts that the sisters endure work to characterize them. The reader is able to see the way each sister behaves and how they react to both each other and the world around them, creating a very clear picture of who each sister is and what their defining qualities are. This also allows the reader to learn more about the character of each person who interacts with either Edith or Mae as we see how they react to each of the sister’s strong personalities. One of Edith’s main goals throughout the novel is to travel back to Louisiana and free Marianne from the mental hospital in which she is being treated. Mae, however, wants to stay in New York City, creating a rift between the sisters.
These conflicts that arise also allow for the creation of more drama. With each sisterly quarrel or argument, the drama increases as the stakes are raised, eventually leading their relationship to a breaking point. Toward the conclusion of the novel, Apekina jumps forward in time, showing us the lives of Edith and Mae now that they are adults. Edith is married and starting a family, while Mae has turned the tables and is now using her experiences with her father as inspiration for her own art. To an extent this shows that the sisters’ relationship has been mended, showing even more personal growth that Edith and Mae have gone through along their journey.
This book takes a hard look at relationships, showing the ugly sides of people that sometimes rear their heads. The book shows that no matter how difficult relationships are, it is possible to overcome and move forward from them.