It is often said that light drives out darkness and that loves drives away fear. Such proverbs may be mostly true most of the time, but not without exception.
‘Tainted Waters’ is a book full of such exceptions. It is a story of shadows and illusions, doubts and deceptions, and of clouded thoughts and emotions. In her youth, Alice desires security, truth and a sense of belonging, but enjoys none of these. Trusting nobody and belonging nowhere, her world is one where, time and time again, she has to choose the least terrible option and learn to make the best of it.
Stanhope has woven a tale in which conflict, distrust and obscured truths come into sharp contrast as the powers of light and darkness battle with one another for supremacy. As Alice discovers who and what she is, and how to make use of the resources available to her, the reader sees those same contrasts in her character: naïveté and inherited knowledge, vulnerability and power, weakness and strength.
This is a fantastic read that keeps the reader wondering and guessing from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and found it hard to put down.
‘Tainted Waters’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence in storytelling.