Review – The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon

Posted April 6, 2021 by Carole in Audiobook, Book Reviews / 13 Comments

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon
Narrated by Joy Osmanski and Imani Jade Powers
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Date Read: March 18, 2021
Length: 11 hours and 48 minutes
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Invited and The Winter People comes a chilling new novel about a woman who returns to the old family home after her sister mysteriously drowns in its swimming pool…but she’s not the pool’s only victim.

Be careful what you wish for.

When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.

In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives.

A haunting, twisty, and compulsively readable thrill ride from the author who Chris Bohjalian has dubbed the “literary descendant of Shirley Jackson,” The Drowning Kind is a modern-day ghost story that illuminates how the past, though sometimes forgotten, is never really far behind us.

My Review

I enjoyed this audiobook!  This was my first experience with this author’s work and it was a good one.  I was quickly drawn into this story and was eager to see how things would develop in the story.  I really liked the creepy atmosphere and thought that both timelines added a lot to the overall story.  I found this to be a very entertaining and well-written novel.

This book is told in two timelines.  The timeline is set in 2019.  Jax is a social worker but ignores her sister’s frantic calling thinking that she must be off her medications, only to learn that she has died in the family pool.  The second timeline is told from Ethel’s point of view and it is set in 1929.  Ethel has recently married and wants a baby more than anything.  It was really interesting watching these two timelines come together.
I think that the author did a fantastic job of creating a compelling mystery surrounding the spring/pool with a nice dose of creepy in the mix.  I was very curious about just what was happening with the spring/pool and wanted to know more about the things that have happened with ties to it.   The more I learned the more that I wanted to know and I loved that the story kept me guessing until the very end.
Joy Osmanski and Imani Jade Powers narrated this audiobook.  I believe that this is my first experience with both of these narrators and I really enjoyed both of their work.  I thought that they were both able to add a lot of emotion and excitement into the story.  Both voices were pleasant to listen to for hours at a time which added to my overall enjoyment of the story.
I would recommend this book to others.  I found this to be a very atmospheric story filled with great characters and a compelling mystery at its core.  I definitely plan to read more of Jennifer McMahon’s work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this audiobook from Simon & Schuster Audio via NetGalley.

About the Author

Jennifer McMahon is the author of nine novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Promise Not to Tell and The Winter People. She lives in Vermont with her partner, Drea, and their daughter, Zella.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram

13 responses to “Review – The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon

  1. I WANT THIS AS AN AUDIOBOOK! This sounds like totally my cup of tea and the synopsis made me raise my eyebrows like DAYUM I wanna know more!!

    Thanks for bringing this book to my attention 🙂

  2. Anytime Shirley Jackson is mentioned I know to expect a seriously creepy eerie book. This one sounds a bit different and I'm definitely curious. I'll have to look for this one.

  3. atmospheric and compelling mystery. definitely sounds like a good combination. Also, I absolutely love that cover!!