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  • Hardcover
  • USA First Edition
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Released January 1, 2003
ISBN 9780345450906

£12.00

On the heels of her mesmerizing bestseller, The Lake of Dead Languages, Carol Goodman has written a brooding, captivating novel that skillfully weaves fairy tale themes into a modern web of intrigue. It is a novel about the secrets mothers keep, and the daughters who must live in their shadows.

Iris Greenfeder, ABD (All But Dissertation) has just turned forty, lives in Manhattan, and works three teaching jobs to support herself. Recently she’s felt that the “buts” are taking over her life: all but published, all but a professor, all but married (to Jack, her boyfriend of ten years). Yet the sudden impulse to write a story about her mother leads to a shot at literary success. The piece recounts an eerie Irish fairy tale her mother used to tell her at bedtime–and nestled inside is the sad story of her mother’s death. . .

More than fifty years ago, Iris’s mother, Katherine Morrissey, arrived at the Catskills’ grand Hotel Equinox penniless, with almost no belongings. Kay was hired as a maid but refused to speak of her past or her family. One year later, she married Ben Greenfeder, the hotel’s manager. During the hotel’s off-season, Kay wrote the first two fantasy novels of a planned trilogy. There never was a third book. When Iris was nine, her mother left one day for a writer’s conference–and never came back. Kay died that very night in a hotel fire on Coney Island, registered as another man’s wife.

Now Hedda Wolfe, Kay’s former literary agent, has a proposal: If Iris will return to the Hotel Equinox where she grew up, research her mother’s life, and find the third and final manuscript that Hedda is convinced exists, then she can guarantee Iris a huge advance to write her mother’s biography.

Transfixed by the notion of a third book, Iris believes that it will hold clues to the mysteries of Kay’s life–and death. But as she begins to peer into the thicket of her mother’s hidden world, stinging revelations leave Iris with new questions. When a deadly “accident” befalls the one man who could shed some light on Kay, it becomes clear that Iris is not alone in her deep interest in her mother’s past–or in her search for a lost manuscript that might hold more secrets than she ever expected.

Humming with tension, awash in atmosphere, and rich in plot, The Seduction of Water is a remarkable and unique combination of lyrical traditions and thrilling suspense–marking Carol Goodman as a modern master of gripping fiction.

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Carol Goodman

During Carol's teenage years, she wrote poetry and was awarded the Young Poet of Long Island award. After majoring in Latin at Vassar College, she fell in love with language and the Hudson Valley, two themes that would reappear in her first published novel, the bestselling and critically acclaimed novel, The Lake of Dead Languages (Ballantine, 2001).

In the next decade, Carol wrote five more literary mysteries, was nominated for the IMPAC award twice and the Simon & Schuster/Mary Higgins Clark Award, and won the Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing for her second novel, The Seduction of Water.

In the years after, Carol departed from mystery fiction by writing fantasy and young adult fiction but stayed close to her creative home geographically. With her husband, poet Lee Slonimsky, Carol wrote an urban fantasy trilogy set in New York City. Under the pseudonym Juliet Dark, Carol wrote The Demon Lover (Ballantine 2011) and her young adult novel, Blythewood (Viking Children’s 2013), was named a best young adult novel by the American Library Association.

When Carol finally moved to the Hudson Valley in 2010, she was inspired by the Hudson River mansions and the scenic and perilous River Road, to return to suspense fiction with River Road (Touchstone, 2016).

Her two latest books, The Metropolitans, a middle-grade historical novel, and the ghostly suspense The Widow's House, are set in New York City and the Hudson Valley respectively.

» See more books by Carol Goodman

Professionally Packed

All of our books that a have dust wrapper are covered in clear protective, removable film and are packed professionally in bubble wrap and a box for shipping so that they reach you in perfect condition.