Book Review / Reviews with Spoilers / Robyn Harding

Robyn Harding | The Drowning Woman

The Book: 

The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding
Published June 13, 2023 by Grand Central Publishing
Date read: July 15, 2023

The Characters: 

Lee and Hazel

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

A deliciously twisted story of friendship, retribution, and betrayal about a homeless woman fleeing a dangerous past—and the wealthy society wife she saves from drowning, who pulls her into a dark web of secrets and lies.

Lee Gulliver never thought she’d find herself living on the streets—no one ever does—but when her restaurant fails, and she falls deeper into debt, she leaves her old life behind with nothing but her clothes and her Toyota Corolla. In Seattle, she parks in a secluded spot by the beach to lay low and plan her next move—until early one morning, she sees a sobbing woman throw herself into the ocean. Lee hauls the woman back to the surface, but instead of appreciation, she is met with fury. The drowning woman, Hazel, tells her that she wanted to die, that she’s trapped in a toxic, abusive marriage, that she’s a prisoner in her own home. Lee has thwarted her one chance to escape her life.

Out of options, Hazel retreats to her gilded cage, and Lee thinks she’s seen the last of her, until her unexpected return the next morning. Bonded by disparate but difficult circumstances, the women soon strike up a close and unlikely friendship. And then one day, Hazel makes a shocking request: she wants Lee to help her disappear. It’ll be easy, Hazel assures her, but Lee soon learns that nothing is as it seems, and that Hazel may not be the friend Lee thought she was.

How did The Drowning Woman end?

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

The Reveal:

Such a complicated web. To skip to the point: Benjamin had hired Jesse to seduce and eventually kill Hazel. Lee had found the recordings that proved this in Jesse’s apartment after she found him dead and anonymously dropped them off to the police.

Hazel thought she and her lover Jesse were conspiring to kill Benjamin, and placing the blame on Lee. Hazel felt guilty and destroyed the evidence that would implicate Lee.

Lee had been seduced by Jesse and just thought he was her boyfriend and that Hazel was helping her start over.

I’m not sure why Benjamin had Nate kill Jesse.

The Ending:

In the end, Hazel escaped on her own fake passport after staging her suicide and went to find Lee in Panama.

The Review: 

This book was a highlight of my summer reading. Told in four parts, The Drowning Woman tells the story of two women with very different lives. I was surprised to find that I really liked both main characters! I will say that the book had a stronger start than finish, but I enjoyed the reveal and how things wrapped up. It’s very fast-paced, and the perfect popcorn thriller for summer vacation. Although, people might have some questions if they see you reading this one on the beach!

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