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January 2, 2022

The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"Once there was a girl who could breathe under water.  She spent so much time under water she discovered it became harder and harder to breathe air and walk across the hot sand.  Eventually she could not come out of the water at all.  And the people she left on land began to forget her." (p 284)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water
January 2022; Revell; 978-0800741105
audio, ebook, print (348 pages); women's fiction

I started reading Erin Bartels's books when I found out that they take place in Michigan - the state that I grew up in.  Soon after I started her first book, I realized that she was a fantastic author and now she's on my list of authors that I'll buy before I even know what their book is about!

Kendra is an author. Her first book was a huge success and she has a contract for her second book.  The only problem is that she hasn't written a word and her deadline is getting close.  Her problem is an inflammatory note that she received from someone who only identified themselves as A Very Disappointed reader.  She decides to go to her grandfather's old house on Hidden Lake hoping that she'll be able to forget the note and get her second book started.  She spent her childhood summers with her grandfather at his cabin.  Even though he is deceased, there are memories of him all over the cabin.  The memory that her first book was based on is that of being sexually assaulted one summer. Because she spent summers there, she knows most of the people living at the lake.   Her best friend growing up lived across the lake and she spent a lot of time with Cami, Taylor, and their parents.  Now Cami has disappeared and Kendra has decided that she needs to confront Tyler - the person that her first book was based on.  Will she be able to face him and will she lose his parents who have been good friends over the years?

The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water is about friendship and the loss of friendship, family love, and forgiveness, romance, mystery, and suspense and it all melds together to create one of the best books that I've read this year.  If you haven't read Erin Bartles's books, it's time to start -- she is a fantastic author who creates unforgettable stories

Be sure to read the Author’s Note where Erin tells her readers that this novel was inspired by her own story of molestation as a child. 



Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.


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