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No. 1 New York Times bestseller: ‘Powerful… Suspenseful… chilling’ New York Times

Christina Schwarz’s bestselling novel DROWNING RUTH is a powerful and shocking psychological drama, for everyone who loved THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS or THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES.

At the close of World War One, Amanda Starkey leaves the city and travels to her family’s farm to recover from a broken heart. Instead, she is caught up in a tragedy that will take her sister’s life and leave Amanda to raise her niece Ruth. What happened that terrible night when Mattie died? Why does Ruth say she can remember drowning?

When the truth is revealed, it is shocking, dramatic, and unforgettable.

‘[A] gripping psychological thriller’ Francine Prose, US Weekly

‘A mesmerizing first novel about horrifying family secrets’ Anita Shreve

‘Riveting… A very suspenseful tale, one that will keep readers up shivering in [the] night’ USA Today


'A gripping read' Choice magazine
'A compelling mystery' The Times
Play (The Times)
'Assured and dense debut...Schwarz's real achievement is in matching the complexities of her plot with vivid characters' The Scotsman
The Scotsman
'Austere, tense, painful and rewarding, this book keeps you reading until the vertebrae sulk - and the aftertaste has the bitterness of a linctus whose sharpness conveys its benefit' Frank Delaney
Frank Delaney
In [the] assured last stroke, Ms Schwarz affirms the psychological underpinnings of a book that would have worked page-turningly well as a straightforward mystery alone. She gives it the extra wisdom that marks DROWNING RUTH as the chilling, precociously good start to a bright new novelist's career
New York Times
'This is a book that really ought not to be missed' Sentinel Sunday
Sentinel Sunday
A strong sense of portent and unusually vivid characters distinguish this mesmerizing first novel about horrifying family secrets and nearly annihilating guilt. DROWNING RUTH is a complex and rewarding debut
Anita Shreve
A riveting first novel... A very suspenseful tale, one that will keep readers up shivering in the heat of an August night
USA Today
Quietly powerful prose and carefully nuanced description... Creates a satisfying fictional world. An engrossing debut from a writer to watch
Kirkus Reviews
The first sentence of this brilliantly understated psychological thriller leaps off the page and captures the reader's imagination...Schwarz deftly uses first-person narration to heighten the drama. Her prose is spare but bewitching, and she juggles the speakers and time periods with the surety of a seasoned novelist
Publishers Weekly
This unusually deft and assured first novel conveys a good deal more than thrills and chills
The stars of DROWNING RUTH are the beautifully imagined lakes in summer and winter, the desolate farmhouse where Ruth grows up... The book offers ... more tender gifts
Washington Post
It remains gripping to the end
New York Post
A remarkable debut: surprising, unsettling and sure
New York Times Book Review
'It is not hard to see why DROWNING RUTH became a bestseller...Where many historical novels are weighed down by detail, DROWNING RUTH is drenched in the melancholic atmosphere of its setting...an intriguing story' New Statesman
New Statesman
'The compelling quality of Christina Schwarz's first novel, DROWNING RUTH, is quite unique' Independent