They Drown Our Daughters

- Katrina Monroe

Goodreads Book Blurb:

If you can hear the call of the water,
It’s already far too late.

They say Cape Disappointment is haunted. That’s why tourists used to flock there in droves. They’d visit the rocky shoreline under the old lighthouse’s watchful eye and fish shells from the water as they pretended to spot dark shapes in the surf. Now the tourists are long gone, and when Meredith Strand and her young daughter return to Meredith’s childhood home after an acrimonious split from her wife, the Cape seems more haunted by regret than any malevolent force.

But her mother, suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s, is convinced the ghost stories are real. Not only is there something in the water, but it’s watching them. Waiting for them. Reaching out to Meredith’s daughter the way it has to every woman in their line for generations―and if Meredith isn’t careful, all three women, bound by blood and heartbreak, will be lost one by one to the ocean’s mournful call.


My Review:

***Thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.

I wanted to love They Drown Our Daughters. A multi-generational curse, a mysterious lighthouse over a haunted cape, and ghost stories mixed in with witches – what’s not to love?

I struggled to stay invested at times, and the way the narrative jumps between perspectives adds to the disjointed feeling. The underlying tension throughout kept me reading – I had to find out what would happen – but with all that buildup, the payoff in the end just wasn’t worth it. Though this would have changed the entire plot, I think the best parts were those set in the past, and it would’ve been a stronger story if it had all been set in the past. I don’t know if I just didn’t connect to the modern characters or if it all felt out of place, but I felt disconnected.

Though the days of burning a witch at the stake were long over, it would only take a word from her husband to get Regina locked in a sanatorium forever.

There are definitely good parts. Monroe does a wonderful job making you feel deeply unsettled with small moments and things being just a little bit off. While there are big moments, you don’t need them to set a scene and a mood that is perfect for this gothic horror. The writing is gorgeous, even if I didn’t particularly care for the story.

With too many unremarkable characters, a slow pace, and an unsatisfying ending, I didn’t leave They Drown Our Daughters on a high note.

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