Breathing Water was written in 1999 and is the story of Effie Greer. Effie had left Lake Gormlaith after no longer being able to remain in a relationship with her boyfriend Max after a terrible tragedy occurred at the lake. Max was a drug addict and abusive and Effie had thought that she could save him. When she left, she wandered across the country, never staying too long anywhere so that Max could not find her. Finally, after three years of running, Effie felt safe to return to Lake Gormlaith. She went to her grandparent's rundown cottage where and began renovating it. She slowly allowed others, including her widowed grandmother Gussie, to enter her world and hope and forgiveness began for Effie.
Bodies of Water was written in 2013. This is a story about Gussie's sister, Billie. Billie was married at eighteen to Frankie, a verbally abusive alcoholic. Together they had two daughters. One day, in the summer of 1960, Billie's world changed when Ted and Eva Wilson and their children moved into the house across the street. Very quickly, Eva and Billie and their children spent all their time together. Billie and her children always spent time at Lake during the summer, providing Billie with some reprieve from Frankie. After Eva moved in, Billie invited her and her children to come for two weeks. During that time, Billie and Eva acted upon their feelings for each other.
Later, after Billie and Eva's secret relationship was revealed, all hell broke loose. Ted moved his family away and Billie had little contact with her.
Fifty years later, Eva's son contacted Gussie looking for Billie. He wanted to meet with her. Eva reluctantly flew across the country at Gussie's urging and there Billie learned some surprising secrets from the past fifty years.
Both of these books are beautifully written and both use water as a metaphor.
"Memory is the same as water. It is a still lake bathed in moonlight, a vast ocean, a violent river ready to carry you away. It can calm you or it can harm you; it is both more powerful and weaker than you'd think. It is a paradox."