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The Music of the Deep

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Fleeing an abusive marriage and tormented by her past, Alexandra Turner finds solace in a small coastal town on Puget Sound and a job with a local marine biologist studying orcas. After befriending a group of locals, Alex learns that she has moved to a place that has a reputation of being the “most haunted town in Washington.” Such superstitions would be easy to dismiss…if Fleeing an abusive marriage and tormented by her past, Alexandra Turner finds solace in a small coastal town on Puget Sound and a job with a local marine biologist studying orcas. After befriending a group of locals, Alex learns that she has moved to a place that has a reputation of being the “most haunted town in Washington.” Such superstitions would be easy to dismiss…if Alex wasn’t already on edge. Haunted by shreds of memories of her days with her husband, Alex can’t keep from looking over her shoulder. As unexplained sounds and scents accumulate and unnerving forces seem to take hold, Alex is beginning to believe that she’s not escaping her ghosts, after all. In fact, she might finally be inviting them in.


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Fleeing an abusive marriage and tormented by her past, Alexandra Turner finds solace in a small coastal town on Puget Sound and a job with a local marine biologist studying orcas. After befriending a group of locals, Alex learns that she has moved to a place that has a reputation of being the “most haunted town in Washington.” Such superstitions would be easy to dismiss…if Fleeing an abusive marriage and tormented by her past, Alexandra Turner finds solace in a small coastal town on Puget Sound and a job with a local marine biologist studying orcas. After befriending a group of locals, Alex learns that she has moved to a place that has a reputation of being the “most haunted town in Washington.” Such superstitions would be easy to dismiss…if Alex wasn’t already on edge. Haunted by shreds of memories of her days with her husband, Alex can’t keep from looking over her shoulder. As unexplained sounds and scents accumulate and unnerving forces seem to take hold, Alex is beginning to believe that she’s not escaping her ghosts, after all. In fact, she might finally be inviting them in.

30 review for The Music of the Deep

  1. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    THE MUSIC OF THE DEEP is the kind of book that I felt hooked me right from the very first page. If I could, would I have read non-stop until I had finished the book, alas I started late in the evening and then had to sleep. I wish more books were like this, captivating and beautifully written. READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION! THE MUSIC OF THE DEEP is the kind of book that I felt hooked me right from the very first page. If I could, would I have read non-stop until I had finished the book, alas I started late in the evening and then had to sleep. I wish more books were like this, captivating and beautifully written. READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Three days of almost non-stop driving and 2000 miles later, Alexandra Turner drove off the ferry to the small town of Copper Cove on Puget Sound. It was just before Christmas and the coloured lights were pretty. But Alex wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas – she was just happy to be well away from her past. Her new boss, Maggie Edwards, was a marine biologist who had devoted her life to the study of orcas. Alex would be working with her… Learning the area was “haunted” didn’t worry Alex too much – Three days of almost non-stop driving and 2000 miles later, Alexandra Turner drove off the ferry to the small town of Copper Cove on Puget Sound. It was just before Christmas and the coloured lights were pretty. But Alex wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas – she was just happy to be well away from her past. Her new boss, Maggie Edwards, was a marine biologist who had devoted her life to the study of orcas. Alex would be working with her… Learning the area was “haunted” didn’t worry Alex too much – she wasn’t sure she believed in ghosts or anything of the kind. Her gradual friendship with some of the locals eased her nerves a little, but it was when she was in the old house at night that the nightmares returned; the noises making her wonder if she wasn’t quite sane. The memories of her past - the horror of an abusive husband – were never far away. What would happen to Alex? Would she ever find peace? And what were the secrets that bound the Copper Cove people together – and sometimes apart? The Music of the Deep was a deeply satisfying read; author Elizabeth Hall has written with great understanding, empathy and compassion of the darkness and terror of domestic violence. A story of secrets, friendship, and a mother’s love; The Music of the Deep encompasses the family structure of the orcas and the many comparisons between human and blackfish. A thoroughly enjoyable read that I highly recommend. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read and review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    Alexandra Turner is running from an abusive marriage. She secures a job assisting a biologist with her notes on Orcas in Puget Sound and runs from her violent husband. 1200 miles ought to be enough distance for her to be safe. The locals notice the bruises on her face and wonder what she is running from, but Alex doesn't trust anyone enough to share her past. She makes some good friends in the small coastal town, learning to spin yarn with a local group called The Spinsters. She enjoys the stori Alexandra Turner is running from an abusive marriage. She secures a job assisting a biologist with her notes on Orcas in Puget Sound and runs from her violent husband. 1200 miles ought to be enough distance for her to be safe. The locals notice the bruises on her face and wonder what she is running from, but Alex doesn't trust anyone enough to share her past. She makes some good friends in the small coastal town, learning to spin yarn with a local group called The Spinsters. She enjoys the stories they share about the whales, and life in the small town. She tries to relax and start a new life, but Alex is still deeply haunted by her fear, pain and the recent death of her mother. She prays her husband doesn't find her. She wants peace and to finally have a place where she feels safe. But she knows a person can't ever really outrun their past....no matter where she goes she brings the pain with her. I enjoyed this book. I love how the story of Alex, her friends and the Orcas all intertwine together, creating a magical story. Some portions dealing with abuse are rough, but realistic. Alex has spent years in a horrific relationship, and there's deep portions of her that are wounded. I normally don't like stories that switch back and forth from past to present as it can become confusing and cumbersome. But, in this story, it worked. Past and present meld together into a strong story of love, loss and healing. I listened to the audiobook version of this story. The audio is nearly 9 hours in length and narrated by Emily Sutton Smith. She reads at a good pace and has a nice voice. I suffer from hearing loss but was easily able to hear and understand. This is the first book by Elizabeth Hall that I have read. The story is well-written, complex and enjoyable. I will definitely be reading more by this author!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Perri

    There's a lot I liked about this book. It felt very authentic to small town island living with the gossip balanced by a supportive community. Hall captures how protective and concerned locals feel about Orca whales and their struggles to thrive. The individual characters were well drawn each with their private stories. My only quibble was some confusion in keeping them straight. Oh, and the dark winters are accurate, but it doesn't rain nearly as much as it does in Seattle. Four breaching stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Alex is on the run from an abusive husband. She's waited for over a decade to leave him. She's driven from New Mexico to Washington to take a temporary research job on a tiny desolate island, hoping that it is far enough away that her husband won't find her. The little town of the island has its own characters and they have their own stories. Alex's story was highly predictable, but I expected it to be. I think what I didn't like most about this book was that Alex's story got a bit lost as we fo Alex is on the run from an abusive husband. She's waited for over a decade to leave him. She's driven from New Mexico to Washington to take a temporary research job on a tiny desolate island, hoping that it is far enough away that her husband won't find her. The little town of the island has its own characters and they have their own stories. Alex's story was highly predictable, but I expected it to be. I think what I didn't like most about this book was that Alex's story got a bit lost as we found out more about the other inhabitants of the island - primarily Emmie and her daughter, Robin's stories. At one point, I thought the main character was shifting to Robin and at least hoped that her story and Alex's would intersect or relate to one another, but they never do. Then the book just ends with no permanent solution to anyone's problems, and even more annoying - the mystery of what happened to Robin that is introduced around the 3/4 mark is still unsolved.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Latasha

    Well, this wasn't exactly what i was expecting but it was still very good. i read it in 2 days! TRIGGER WARNING: DOMESTIC ABUSE This book is about Alex. She marries the perfect, handsome, dreamy Daniel. Then the nightmare begins. This guy is the piece of shit suck to the bottom of your shoe. He's abusive in every way. Alex finally leaves him after 11 years of living in constant terror. She runs away to Copper Cove, Washington to work for a marine biologist, Maggie. The story then weaves Maggie' Well, this wasn't exactly what i was expecting but it was still very good. i read it in 2 days! TRIGGER WARNING: DOMESTIC ABUSE This book is about Alex. She marries the perfect, handsome, dreamy Daniel. Then the nightmare begins. This guy is the piece of shit suck to the bottom of your shoe. He's abusive in every way. Alex finally leaves him after 11 years of living in constant terror. She runs away to Copper Cove, Washington to work for a marine biologist, Maggie. The story then weaves Maggie's story, Alex's story and Emmie's story together. Emmie is another local who may or may not be a witch. There's not many ghost in it like i had expected. Ghost of the past, sure but not BOO! ghost. The writing in this book is great. Like i said, it wasn't what i expected but i devoured it in 2 days. This is the first thing I've read by Elizabeth Hall but i would read more by her. I received this book as a gift from a friend. Thank you very much Tara!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 'For most of her life, Alex had been the rogue electron, that weird anomaly that orbited just outside the nucleus of the rest of humanity.' Alexandra Turner flees from her abusive marriage to Puget Sound, deciding to work for Dr. Margaret Edwards of renowned marine biologist whose life purpose is focused on Orca whales. The locals of Cooper Cove are superstitious, and swear that the captain’s house is inhabited by ghosts. For the locals, the town via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 'For most of her life, Alex had been the rogue electron, that weird anomaly that orbited just outside the nucleus of the rest of humanity.' Alexandra Turner flees from her abusive marriage to Puget Sound, deciding to work for Dr. Margaret Edwards of renowned marine biologist whose life purpose is focused on Orca whales. The locals of Cooper Cove are superstitious, and swear that the captain’s house is inhabited by ghosts. For the locals, the town is known for being haunted, which serves tourism well. But for Alex, it’s the living who have terrified her more, it’s the ghosts of her past, of her abusive relationship and loss of self that haunts her. Owing to her ‘rabid intelligence’ she’s always been a misfit and living in a broken home once her father left, she plunged further into study. At 28 years old and with a masters in library science, she was finally living a fulfilling life, until the handsome geologist Daniel Frazier took an interest in her. A whirlwind romance takes place, and despite her mother’s warnings, she ends up marrying him. It isn’t long before the real Daniel starts to show himself through his omissions, his manipulating, and threats. Alex suffers major losses, and escapes to Cooper Cove. Working for Maggie she learns about orcas, a mysterious beautiful underwater world, of creatures boring their own pain, heard in their music of the deep. The orcas are twined perfectly with the story. Maggie hears voices in a fog, wonders if indeed there is some truth to the locals beliefs. or else she suffering a mental breakdown. Restless and tortured, she is trying to find peace in her new surroundings but the past won’t release its teeth from her. She finds friendship with the local knitting group, the ‘spinsters’, but Maggie is perceptive, and knows there are lies binding Alex. She made a promise to her dying mother, and being here with Dr. Maggie is how she is honoring it. Emmie is an important character too, as her and Maggie share a past that has created distance and resentment. A past that has Alex curious, with a town full of secrets of its own, are restless ghosts such a surprise? Alex will learn you can’t outrun your pain, and that a stand must be made. Maybe, if she’s lucky, she will find her clan, make a family and be able to survive a past that refuses to let her go. This isn’t my usual read but I really enjoyed a story about intelligent women, all struggling with the past, coming together. The orcas were just as interesting as the humans, as sensitive and I learned things I didn’t know. There aren’t always happy endings for us, nor for nature, everything isn’t always fixed at the end, but there may be hope for Alex. Publication Date: April 17, 2018 Lake Union Publishing

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hannelore Cheney

    Thank you Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the eARC. This was a moving, beautiful book filled with likeable characters and lovingly researched information about orcas. Alexandra Turner has fled to a small coastal town on Puget Sound after the death of her mother, finally escaping her abusive 11-year marriage. She will be working for a local marine biologist; an enigmatic, driven woman who has dedicated her life to the plight of the orcas. She's also introduced and welcomed by a local knitti Thank you Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the eARC. This was a moving, beautiful book filled with likeable characters and lovingly researched information about orcas. Alexandra Turner has fled to a small coastal town on Puget Sound after the death of her mother, finally escaping her abusive 11-year marriage. She will be working for a local marine biologist; an enigmatic, driven woman who has dedicated her life to the plight of the orcas. She's also introduced and welcomed by a local knitting group, jokingly named 'the spinsters'. Haunted by the death of her mother and the terrible years spent with her husband, she has trouble sleeping, plagued by unwelcome dreams and thoughts of her past. It also looks like the house she's staying in is haunted. Is her fractured mind playing tricks on her? I really enjoyed this book, the atmosphere was lovely and I particularly loved the orca theme. The ending is bittersweet; the women have forged strong bonds, but the future for the orcas looks bleak...hopefully this book will bring more awareness and turn the tide if it's at all possible.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Geonn Cannon

    Not as much ghosts as I expected, but more than enough Pacific Northwest/Puget Sound to make up for it. I've been looking for a book set there, and this hit the spot.

  10. 5 out of 5

    R

    The Music of the Deep was an engaging read from the first to last page. The title, a reference to the Orca’s rhythmic melodious breaths, gave voice to the beauty and dangers of their existence. The was a well written story with an eerie, captivating setting that set the tone for despair and loss, yet also renewal and hope. The author effectively tackled a myriad of topics such as the paranormal, bullying, and teen relationships. However, the most powerful and heart wrenching ones were those conc The Music of the Deep was an engaging read from the first to last page. The title, a reference to the Orca’s rhythmic melodious breaths, gave voice to the beauty and dangers of their existence. The was a well written story with an eerie, captivating setting that set the tone for despair and loss, yet also renewal and hope. The author effectively tackled a myriad of topics such as the paranormal, bullying, and teen relationships. However, the most powerful and heart wrenching ones were those concerning the orca and spousal abuse, and ultimately, perseverance. The highly developed characters, their dialogue, and interactions placed the reader on an emotional roller coaster throughout the story. It was an amazing read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emily Cavanagh

    The Music of the Deep by Elizabeth Hall is a haunting novel that grabbed me from the first page. When Alex Turner flees to Copper Cove, a small island off the coast of Washington, she’s running away from an abusive marriage and secrets she wants to forget. She has no idea she’s arrived in a community known for its paranormal phenomena. She finds herself working for Maggie , a crotchety and reclusive marine biologist who specializes in the endangered orca whale. She also meets Emmie, an enigmatic The Music of the Deep by Elizabeth Hall is a haunting novel that grabbed me from the first page. When Alex Turner flees to Copper Cove, a small island off the coast of Washington, she’s running away from an abusive marriage and secrets she wants to forget. She has no idea she’s arrived in a community known for its paranormal phenomena. She finds herself working for Maggie , a crotchety and reclusive marine biologist who specializes in the endangered orca whale. She also meets Emmie, an enigmatic older woman whose uncanny ability to sense the pain of animals has led to whispers amongst the townspeople. When Alex starts hearing strange noises in the house she’s staying in, she’s not sure if it’s ghosts, her past, or her own tormented mind. As Alex learns more about Copper Cove and the house she’s living in, she discovers that she’s not the only hiding secrets. The Music of the Deep is a powerful exploration of an abusive marriage—the incremental loss of autonomy, the gradual ceding over of control, and the slow escalation of emotional and physical abuse. Hall realistically and sensitively portrays how a woman could find herself trapped in such a relationship with no easy options. Woven tightly into Alex’s story is the history and life cycle of the orca, a magnificent and highly intelligent species, that also serves as an effective metaphorical backdrop for the rest of the novel. In addition to the cast of well-developed characters, Copper Cove is its own presence, an eerie, dreary, yet somehow welcoming place that is vividly depicted. I love books that either teach me about a topic I knew nothing about or allow me to firmly root myself in someone else’s experience that is completely unlike my own—The Music of the Deep is the rare novel that did both.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elena Hartwell

    I enjoyed this book. It's not my usual genre, as I tend toward mysteries, but the location caught my attention and the characters kept it. While the plot has few surprises, it isn't a mystery, so I wasn't expecting them. What the author does do well is create distinct characters. She also brings the plight of the resident orcas in the Pacific Northwest to light. As someone who lives in the area, and is very fond of the orcas, attention paid to their possible extinction is something I'm glad to s I enjoyed this book. It's not my usual genre, as I tend toward mysteries, but the location caught my attention and the characters kept it. While the plot has few surprises, it isn't a mystery, so I wasn't expecting them. What the author does do well is create distinct characters. She also brings the plight of the resident orcas in the Pacific Northwest to light. As someone who lives in the area, and is very fond of the orcas, attention paid to their possible extinction is something I'm glad to see in popular fiction. It would be great if other authors would continue to include the horrific damage being done to the natural world in storylines. It's an important aspect of our existence, and primarily due to human behavior, so having it as a backdrop resonates with me. The role orcas play in the lives of these characters fits in as to be interesting, not preachy. We are invited into the world of the orcas, to see their value and beauty, not just beat over the head with man's inhumanity to well . . . everything. For fans of "women's fiction" - character driven stories - books about the Pacific Northwest - overcoming domestic violence - and starting over, this is a good book for you.

  13. 4 out of 5

    C.R. Elliott

    *I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* An interesting addition to stories of hauntings and haunted houses, Elizabeth Hall’s Music of the Deep isn’t meant to frighten but it is written to unsettle. Although the book is classified as women’s literature and is a fair representation of the genre it is a thoughtful offering on the lives, concerns and strengths of women worth a read for any reader. Aspects of the book were very enjoyable but I knocked it from 4 to 3 stars b *I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* An interesting addition to stories of hauntings and haunted houses, Elizabeth Hall’s Music of the Deep isn’t meant to frighten but it is written to unsettle. Although the book is classified as women’s literature and is a fair representation of the genre it is a thoughtful offering on the lives, concerns and strengths of women worth a read for any reader. Aspects of the book were very enjoyable but I knocked it from 4 to 3 stars because the meanderings through the spinster group and the Orca research did not entirely resonate with me. Both aspects were integral to the story but there were other aspects of the story I wish had been explored with the same level of depth. Admittedly I was most curious about the haunted angle and had different expectations coming into the book. Despite rocky elements and a genre mismatch for me, I especially recommend this book to readers who enjoy a hot cup of tea/coffee, a rainy day and a book that you can sink into.

  14. 5 out of 5

    thelma

    Beautiful story I like this story it told how love is at different times of the year and precious it is with all

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bonnye Reed

    GNab The scene is set on Saratoga Island, one of the small islands off of the coast of Washington State, in the wet, chill rainy season of winter so there will be ghosts. Those creaky stairs and echoing footsteps and voices just far enough away so you can't understand what they are saying. Is this island haunted by more than creeping mold and disillusioned, lonely adults for the most part pushing retirement age or above it? Is the fact that the cemetery hold more people lying down than there are GNab The scene is set on Saratoga Island, one of the small islands off of the coast of Washington State, in the wet, chill rainy season of winter so there will be ghosts. Those creaky stairs and echoing footsteps and voices just far enough away so you can't understand what they are saying. Is this island haunted by more than creeping mold and disillusioned, lonely adults for the most part pushing retirement age or above it? Is the fact that the cemetery hold more people lying down than there are standing up relevant? Peopled with Orca whale enthusiasts, spinning and knitting addicts, an animal and people whisperer, and the odd fisherman, this is an excellent tale. The prose is musical, the people interesting and sympathetic, and despite the weather and echoing footsteps and endless rain you really would like to spend time in this location - in the summer, of course. And maybe learn to spin wool, and pass the time with Emmie and Maggie and Grace and David. You will want to help Alex heal from her turbulent decade plus with Daniel. The back stories on these characters are what sets this mystery apart. You know early on that you have to see what makes these folks tick, what formed them into the gentle, charismatic people that they are. And you will not be disappointed. I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Elizabeth Hall, and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. pub date April 17, 2018 Lake UNION Publishing

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Received from NetGalley in exchange for review. This book was fine. It definitely had promise, and I think Hall is a good writer, but the story itself fell flat for me. Things worked out too nicely and too easily, and the culmination of the main plot felt very rushed. I also thought that the different character's plotlines didn't add much to the book, and that Hall would've been better served by focusing on one character's story. The transitions between the plots were also rather jarring at times Received from NetGalley in exchange for review. This book was fine. It definitely had promise, and I think Hall is a good writer, but the story itself fell flat for me. Things worked out too nicely and too easily, and the culmination of the main plot felt very rushed. I also thought that the different character's plotlines didn't add much to the book, and that Hall would've been better served by focusing on one character's story. The transitions between the plots were also rather jarring at times.

  17. 4 out of 5

    ☕Katie

    I really enjoyed this book until the last couple of chapters. They left nothing but more questions and nothing was really resolved. I enjoyed the small-town feeling and learning the history of the fun, rich characters. I also enjoyed learning a lot about orcas. However, I was very frustrated with no absolution at the end and I'm sad to say this book is only getting 3 stars because of it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Reba Love

    She should have written a non-fiction book about the whales This is a dreary tale of domestic abuse and the plight of Orcas i have no idea why the author thought she should blend these two. It just does not work

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This was a really good book until the last two chapters when it just tanked. I finished it and asked "what". First of all, forget ghosts it doesn't happen. The last chapter makes no sense. I was so disappointed with the ending. The only redeeming factor is I learned about orcas.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jill R

    Wow, I couldn’t finish it. I got so sick and tired of annoying, whining Alex. I was hoping she would be killed just so she would shut up! So, I just quit reading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julie Morris

    Today is publication day for this book, so I am happy to be sharing my review of it with you all as it launches to the wider world, and it is definitely worth picking up. I’m not sure why this title caught my eye on NetGalley as it is not by an author I know – serendipity or more supernatural forces at work? Whatever it was, am I glad it did, as I raced through it in 24 hours and enjoyed every minute. It is a very hard book to categorise – part ghost story, part nature tale, part women’s fiction Today is publication day for this book, so I am happy to be sharing my review of it with you all as it launches to the wider world, and it is definitely worth picking up. I’m not sure why this title caught my eye on NetGalley as it is not by an author I know – serendipity or more supernatural forces at work? Whatever it was, am I glad it did, as I raced through it in 24 hours and enjoyed every minute. It is a very hard book to categorise – part ghost story, part nature tale, part women’s fiction – an unusual blend that had the potential to be a jarring mashup but the writer has woven the different elements together very skilfully to make a compelling narrative that had me gripped to the last page. It follows the stories of three different women. We meet the central character, Alex, as she arrives in the tiny town of Copper Cove on a small island in the Puget Sound on a dark day in December. She is ostensibly there to assist a local woman, Maggie, catalogue the years of research she has done into the local population of orcas, but we soon find out that her story is more about what she is running from than where she is running to. To add to Alex’s tension, Maggie is hiding her own secrets, and her neighbour, Emmie Porter (rumoured to be the local witch due to her amazing powers with animals) is somehow involved. To further add to the tension, Alex is staying alone in a large old house on a hill on the outskirts of a town rumoured to be the most haunted town in Washington State… The author sets up the story in its location very well. The tiny town, distant from land and civilisation, in the dark days of winter, is suitably claustrophobic and menacing enough to compound Alex’s already well-honed sense of dread and the secrets she gradually unveils grow increasingly creepy. During the last fifth of the book, I was sat up in bed, my heart thumping, ripping through the pages to find out what was going to happen – it really is a page turner. The story gradually unveils the back story of the three women in a series of flashbacks which work very effectively, gradually pulling in to a point where they start to interweave and finally explode as one at the culmination of the book; it is very skilfully done and the characters are thoroughly drawn and believable, even as parts of the plot are asking you to suspend your disbelief beyond the every day. One of the main reasons I picked up this book in the first place, and where it did not disappoint was to do with the setting. The Pacific Northwest is an area that holds a particular fascination for me and this book has only increased my longing to visit. The setting lends itself perfectly to the storyline, and the author does an amazing job of placing us firmly in the centre of the landscape. You don’t need to flex your imagination too hard to be able to picture the island, the town, the water and the natural phenomena she describes. I have a particular fondness for members of the oceanic dolphin family and this books blends a lot of interesting information about them into the plot seamlessly. The book isn’t perfect. I would have liked a little more description about the town itself. To a degree the ending felt a little rushed and there was a flurry of ‘coincidences’ and happenings in the denouement which stretched credibility to the very furthest point of acceptability within the confines of what I believe the book was trying to be. However, all in all this was a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would recommend it without reservation. I doubt anyone who picks it up will regret the time they invest in it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Music of the Deep by Elizabeth Hall is an atmospheric read. Set in a coastal small coastal town, the story follows the lives of three women. Alex who is the main character is running away from a dark, painful past. Through the chapters, readers get to keep up with her new life on the island. Her back story is told through chapters that contain flashbacks on her life. These chapters were so dark and intense. I was heartbroken by the events that took place in her life and kept hoping that things w Music of the Deep by Elizabeth Hall is an atmospheric read. Set in a coastal small coastal town, the story follows the lives of three women. Alex who is the main character is running away from a dark, painful past. Through the chapters, readers get to keep up with her new life on the island. Her back story is told through chapters that contain flashbacks on her life. These chapters were so dark and intense. I was heartbroken by the events that took place in her life and kept hoping that things would turn around for her. Other main characters include Emmie and Maggie. Through the chapters, we get to learn more about Emmie, the animal whisperer. Through flashbacks, readers also get to learn about the tragedies in her life. Maggie is the biologist who takes Alex in. Like the other two women, her past is shrouded in secrets and pain.I loved these three women. The setting was a character in itself. The town was rumored to be haunted and had all kinds of ghost stories. It’s the kind of town where tourists flock around Halloween because of the ghost tours. In addition, the MC moved into a house that is thought to be haunted. To add to the spooky vibe, the house is right next to a cemetery. In this town, there are also orcas. I liked the role that the whales played in developing the character of the town. The residents were also an interesting addition to the narrative. I especially liked the spinsters. This was a beautiful story about pain, loss and hope. Friendship is also another key theme. It is not the usual kind of book that I’d normally go for so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Fans of atmospheric reads will certainly enjoy this one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Lamont

    Wow, was this book anxious-making or what! I mean, I was gnawing on my cuticles, twisting my hair, jumping at unexpected noises, and even now -- about 15 minutes after finishing it -- my blood pressure is still elevated. For real, y'all. I know I say this a lot, but I'll say it again about this book: I could totally see this as a Lifetime movie or a series on Amazon or Netflix, and I mean that as compliment. The scenes Ms Hall describes come to life in the mind that easily. And her mix of people Wow, was this book anxious-making or what! I mean, I was gnawing on my cuticles, twisting my hair, jumping at unexpected noises, and even now -- about 15 minutes after finishing it -- my blood pressure is still elevated. For real, y'all. I know I say this a lot, but I'll say it again about this book: I could totally see this as a Lifetime movie or a series on Amazon or Netflix, and I mean that as compliment. The scenes Ms Hall describes come to life in the mind that easily. And her mix of people and stories was extremely engaging; not everything was tense all the time. TRIGGER ALERTS! SORTA SPOILERS BUT NOT REALLY! TRIGGER ALERTS! SORT SPOILERS BUT NOT REALLY! If you have been seriously impacted at any point in your life by domestic violence, be prepared for the possibility of some rather visceral flashbacks. If you love animals more than you love people, you will be both heartened and heartbroken by some of what is in this book. Instead of getting supper ready, I now want to get myself out to an island off the state of Washington and work for the recovery of Puget Sound's southern resident orcas. Given that that is not practical, maybe I'll try to get out there for Orca Recovery Day, if not this year, then next: https://www.betterground.org/orca-rec...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angela Marie

    Music of the Deep by Elizabeth Hall Brief Summary: Alex moves to a small town off Puget Sound to escape her abusive husband. She works for a marine biologist who studies orca whales and makes friends with the locals who teach her about the town’s haunted history. Elizabeth Hall is a new to me author. I love stories about domestic violence survivors and Lake Union Publishing is one of my favorite publishers. I found this story hard to engage in and the time lines jump around a lot. It was hard to u Music of the Deep by Elizabeth Hall Brief Summary: Alex moves to a small town off Puget Sound to escape her abusive husband. She works for a marine biologist who studies orca whales and makes friends with the locals who teach her about the town’s haunted history. Elizabeth Hall is a new to me author. I love stories about domestic violence survivors and Lake Union Publishing is one of my favorite publishers. I found this story hard to engage in and the time lines jump around a lot. It was hard to understand that until the end. Alex’s story of domestic violence and her escape from her violent and controlling husband was by far my favorite part of the story. Explanation of Rating: 3/5 this one just wasn’t for me. I had a hard time getting into all the storylines. Thank you to Net Galley and Lak Union Publishing for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dianah

    When Alex flees her abusive husband, she hides in the most remote spot she can find: a tiny island on Puget Sound. Sinking into the culture of the town, Alex finds work, safety, and some friends, yet, always hovering over her is the fear that she'll be found out. Hall adds in orcas, ghosts, empaths, the tangled history of the townsfolk, and the stormy Pacific Northwest, and writes a moody story, infectious with tension.

  26. 5 out of 5

    CloudOfThoughts_Books Keirstin

    The music of the deep by Author Elizabeth Hall is a great pyschological thriller that I couldn't put down. The pages turn quick! I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good scare and some good thrills.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Elizabeth

    This was a bit less of a thriller than I’d hoped for but it was still an interesting, well-written book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    With a mild sense of weariness, I opened the next Prime Reads book on my Kindle and settled in, fully prepared to slough through another insipid work of fiction. Then, The Music of the Deep grabbed me by the wrist and never let go. I fell into this book, loving everything about it. There are three plot lines. Primarily the book observes Alex's relationship with a controlling and abusive husband. Secondarily, we meet the fragile and mystical Emmie, who dwells in sadness and is gifted - or cursed With a mild sense of weariness, I opened the next Prime Reads book on my Kindle and settled in, fully prepared to slough through another insipid work of fiction. Then, The Music of the Deep grabbed me by the wrist and never let go. I fell into this book, loving everything about it. There are three plot lines. Primarily the book observes Alex's relationship with a controlling and abusive husband. Secondarily, we meet the fragile and mystical Emmie, who dwells in sadness and is gifted - or cursed - with the ability to sense pain and heal animals with divine energy. And Maggie, the hardened marine biologist, looked upon as the village meanie who dines on university interns. Music of the Deep seamlessly shifts between the characters' past and present stories. I greeted the beginning of each historic chapter with glee and was rewarded with insight at every turn. Despite it being a work of fiction, Alex's terrifying relationship gave me a little more understanding as to why women stay with abusive partners. I loved the paranormal elements woven throughout. A mysterious ghost and Emmie's empathetic, uncanny healing abilities provide a mystical heartbeat. There are disturbing pages, spine-tingling pages, mysterious, and gratifying pages. I loved every one of them. Then there are the whales. The orca families off the coast of Copper Cove, Washington provide the connection between Alex, who moves here to be Maggie's assistant, Maggie, who is studying the orcas, and Emmie, who understands their speech and winds up having the greatest tie to the whales. Although I would have liked it to go on forever, the book ends right when it should. It was a pleasure to read. There is an author's note indicating that the stories about whales are based on true events, with the timing altered to fit one story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This book was not bad by any means, it just wasn't what I expected When I read the little blurb about this book, I thought it was going to be a fun little ghost story in a quaint yet spooky setting and although I knew the MC was escaping an abusive marriage, I thought the ghost story was the main storyline. I was wrong on that. The domestic abuse is very much the front line of the story and though it is well written, it was a little too much for me. The story threads several storylines and time This book was not bad by any means, it just wasn't what I expected When I read the little blurb about this book, I thought it was going to be a fun little ghost story in a quaint yet spooky setting and although I knew the MC was escaping an abusive marriage, I thought the ghost story was the main storyline. I was wrong on that. The domestic abuse is very much the front line of the story and though it is well written, it was a little too much for me. The story threads several storylines and timelines together moving back and forth easily from past to present, the characters are eccentric and fun, and though there are ghosts, they are definitely on the back burner here. The book reads through easily and I was, for the most part, engaged, however I am not sure if that is because I kept waiting for the haunting ghosts to appear or because I kept skimming through the abusive husband parts. One of the story threads involves the study of orca whales and while I found that interesting I did feel the author was attempting to tackle too many social issues in one book with domestic violence, animal protection, and environmental issues , and did lean toward preachy toward the end. Speaking of the ending, the author left a few unanswered questions and unsolved problems, which contrary to other books I've read, did not necessarily bother me. Possibly because I was not hugely invested. For those who need neatly tied up endings ( which is usually me),this probably would be a huge distraction.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caryn

    Spoilers (maybe). This was a jumbled mess. Don't get me wrong. I found the author had talent, in certain ways. I was pleased to see that she writes with a facility for the English language, and she has a descriptive style which is definitely engaging. She left off the gratuitous swearing and sex, which I found quite refreshing. Even the mentions of violent actions were limited. I am pretty sick of that in novels to be honest, and I'm starting to suspect that some authors do it to up their word cou Spoilers (maybe). This was a jumbled mess. Don't get me wrong. I found the author had talent, in certain ways. I was pleased to see that she writes with a facility for the English language, and she has a descriptive style which is definitely engaging. She left off the gratuitous swearing and sex, which I found quite refreshing. Even the mentions of violent actions were limited. I am pretty sick of that in novels to be honest, and I'm starting to suspect that some authors do it to up their word count. I was glad to see she had no need of that. I do wish she had done more description of the town other than "rainy and dark". I've lived in the Pacific Northwest. It is rainy and dark a lot of the time, but somehow I remember more. Weak points had to do with plot, pacing and dialogue. Plot...I'm still trying to figure out what the plot was supposed to be. It was almost as if she had written the flashbacks as individual character studies or short stories and then tried to find a way to integrate them all into a novel. The pacing was way off, veering away from the present day setting into long expositional flashbacks. Had she done this only with the main character, and spent more time developing the present day storyline, it might have worked, but she did it with several characters at length and I'm not sure why. She spends so much time in the past that the present day Copper Cove plot is badly neglected, composed of banter and stories about the ghosts, and comes to a climax and resolution so fast, it's disorienting. The relationship between the characters in Copper Cove is not fleshed out or developed at all, and it seems like the "plot" just trips all over itself suddenly to fall into a resolution. Which brings me to dialogue. What is supposed to pass as clever and lighthearted banter between Caroline and David fell really flat with me. It seemed like it was supposed to be funny but just wasn't. David, incidentally, struck me as token-ish. It's a terrible shame he couldn't have been more fleshed out as a character. Some of the things he says make me wonder if she knows any gay people in real life. On several occasions the dialogue switches from flowing naturally to obvious informational text placed in the mouths of the characters. It reminded me of those "The More You Know" segments. It was a transparent ploy by the author to make use of the copious amounts of research she had done on whatever subject was being discussed at the time (orcas, domestic violence, personal opinions on the spirit world). This was clear well before I reached the end notes where she discusses the copious amounts of research, including links. It was almost as if sections of journalistic articles had been copy-pasted into the dialogue. And as other people have said, it gets preachy. I honestly think it's great that she did all of this research, I wish authors would be this thorough on a regular basis. The thing is, you don't have to include it all in your book! Example: the way Maggie the marine biologist boss starts rambling on at some length about the habits of orcas without being asked or prompted in any way. Her monologue is the majority of the dialogue in this chapter. I felt like I was reading a National Geographic article. Not organic at all. People just don't talk the way they do in this book. There are other examples of characters acting and speaking in unrealistic ways as a way of shoehorning all that research into the story, but it would take too long to lay them out. Second example: When the spinning club first meet Alex, she's obviously quiet. People who are not familiar with her should assume that she's shy and try to draw her out, showing interest in her life, asking her the normal questions (What brings you to Copper Cove, where are you from, etc.). None of this takes place. Yes it's a small town, but you don't just imply "Oh we know all about you, the gossip's all over town", and then proceed to info-dump about the town ghosts on this very quiet, shy character. You just met her. I found this kind of rude, honestly, and would in the real world too. As far as I could tell, there was only one empath in the town. But everyone acts as though they know how Alex is feeling. And then she only goes to this group a handful of times and they suddenly have a vested interest in her life, to the point where they are presuming to dish out advice on the domestic abuse they never asked about in the first place? I'm a very private person and have had the experience many times of being in a new group and not knowing how to fit in. If someone who couldn't show enough interest in me to ask basic questions started handing me information about my life (about which they know virtually nothing) I would tell them to pound sand! It seemed like this was supposed to show how deeply caring the group was, but it wasn't sold well. The resolution, which also relates to this weird penchant for the other characters to presume to insert themselves into her life, is very convenient and very unbelievable. The domestic abuse story brought that movie Sleeping With the Enemy to mind repeatedly. I saw that movie with my best college friend in a theater over 30 years ago, so it's not like my brain would immediately go there. It was weird that this movie was all I could picture when I read these scenes. Not that it was a poor illustration of the situation. I actually thought this was one of the best plotlines in the book. I wish she'd stuck with this one. Really, picking any of the story lines would have been ok, if she'd have fleshed them out well and pursued only one. All in all I think this book tried to do too much at once, and ended up doing too little with any of it. The end product makes me strongly suspect that this was originally a much longer story, which has lost a lot in editing for length.

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