The Secret to Not Drowning lets us sit inside the head of Marion, a former Charlie’s Angels wannabe who is utterly controlled by her husband. Her every interaction and movement is accounted for and controlled. She despises her husband but can’t see a way out.
It’s horribly unsettling especially because you can so easily relate to her through her thoughts. I spent all of this book scared that a terrible violent event was about to happen and willing her to find the strength to leave him. She is completely passive and is constantly trying not to do anything that may upset him, and it doesn’t take much! But she has an inner strength that you wouldn’t know about without hearing what she is thinking:
He can’t open the door to my head because I can lock it whenever I feel like it.
***spoilers in the rest of the review***
There are no extremely violent events described, but they are referred to and hinted at. There are horrible events described though, for example, He (for he is always He or Him) makes her eat some flowers he has bought her because he perceives she has behaved in a way he doesn’t like.
I enjoyed reading most of The Secret to Not Drowning. I really felt for Marion, and wanted to know what would happen. It had a page-turning quality, and it reads really well. I didn’t much like the ending – it was too inconclusive for me. I just don’t believe it was leading on to a different life for Marion. I felt like she would just go back to him!