the drowning kind jennifer mcmahon
Book Review / Jennifer McMahon / Reviews with Spoilers

Jennifer McMahon | The Drowning Kind

the drowning kind jennifer mcmahon

The Book: 

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon, 2021

The Characters: 

Twin sisters Lexie and Jax
Ethel, in the past

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Get it on Amazon.

The Plot (from Goodreads):

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.

Click here for book spoilers for The Drowning Kind
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Drowning Kind, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Ethel is Jax’s great grandma. Her miracle baby, Maggie, is Gran. Gran was an agoraphobe because she couldn’t leave the spring or she would die. Rita died because the spring always took back something in return for what it gave. 

Ryan’s grandmother was the daughter of the Hardings, the owners of the hotel. She had contested the sale of the house to Jax’s great grandparents.

The Ending:

Jax drowned too, trying to get back to Lexie. The book ended with her as a ghost, pretending to still be part of the family.

There was no explanation for the supernatural things.

The Review: 

This was the first book I have read by this author. I had seen this book around Instagram and was curious, but didn’t know much about it beyond that. It turned out to be another amazingly creepy supernatural thriller.

I loved the pacing of this book. The chapters switch between present day from Jax’s perspective and the 1920s from Ethel’s perspective. I enjoyed trying to parse out what the two timelines had to do with each other.

I found Jax to be a reasonable relatable MC. I was uncomfortable with her dismissal of her sister’s rants as part of her bipolar disorder, but I can see how this is a very human reaction to dealing with a close family member who has this disorder. Jax was a social worker, though, so I think I would have expected her to have a bit more patience for Lexie and tried to help her a bit more. 

Suspension of belief is definitely required to enjoy this read, as there were some plot holes. However, I found the premise interesting enough to be able to overlook these gaps.

I’ve had mixed feelings about supernatural thrillers in general, and I somewhat prefer when they have real-world explanations to the supernatural elements.

Do you enjoy supernatural thrillers? What have been some of your favorites? Do you prefer real-world explanations, or are you content with “ghostly” endings?

the drowning kind jennifer mcmahon

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