Does a child have to carry the burdens of the parents’ choices? Does a child have to take on the pain that a parent can not let go of? Can a child free a parent of the pain and burdens they have kept as a part of their identity?
Those aforementioned questions came to mind as I read The Woman Behind the Waterfall by Leonora Meriel. Meriel tells the story of Angela, a seven-year-old Ukrainian girl who comes upon her mother crying uncontrollably at the beginning of the novel. She learns that her mother is carrying the wounds of the past and can not let go of them. Angela wants to help her mother release those wounds and find happiness again. The child learns that she has a connection to her grandmother who appears underneath a waterfall by a local river.
Angela realizes from her grandmother that the mother could be trapped by the past forever if she does not show her the way out from that pain. The child has a connection to a spirit that assists her in getting the mother to see she has something living for despite what has happened in her life.
Meriel’s ethereal and subtle prose reminded me of another novel, The Messenger by K.M. Tremills, I reviewed. The prose was layered and poignant like the aforementioned novel. And I believe would reveal more of itself upon a re-read. If you are looking for a book to escape into for a few days, then The Woman Behind the Waterfall is an excellent choice. Recommended.
I received a copy of the novel from the author in exchange for this review.