Black Water Sister was a nice surprise even for a book I was expecting to enjoy I wasn’t expecting the full range of emotions and story it took you through.
I would also strongly suggest the audio book if you are so inclined. The narrator Catherine Ho was really excellent.
Black Water Sister is about Jess who has moved back to Malaysia with her parents. Jess feels both a strong draw to take care of said parents and also never, ever let them know she’s gay. She’s a bit at a loss about what to do with her life when she starts hearing a voice and soon finds out she’s become the medium for her estranged and now deceased grandmother (Ah Ma.)
Ah Ma well, she’s a bit cantankerous to put it kindly and Jess learns all sorts of interesting things about the family her mother had nothing to do with. She’s also pulled into becoming a medium and crosses paths with the even more unpleasant Black Water Sister a vengeful spirit whose shrine is in the middle of a contested construction site.
Oh grandma’s got scores to settle to and Jess well she doesn’t have a lot of choice in the matter.
I was surprised how funny this one was at the beginning. Jess and her grandmother were both good characters bouncing off each other literally sharing the same space. But it definitely takes a turn into much darker elements about midway through.
There’s visions and memories of abuse and murder. Attempted kidnapping, attempted rape, attempted murder, beatings and some homophobia thrown in there. And Jess while I really liked her she, perhaps believably, gets a little more annoying as the book goes on.
I mean she is in a horrible position under a lot of stress but she has these interactions with one character whom she (again unwillingly sure) nearly gets murdered and then like holds their reaction against them for the rest of the book and I was just like girl it probably should have been worse all things considered you need to tone it down. So yeah that little bit felt off with her but otherwise… I really enjoyed Black Water Sister (it would make a really good show or limited series since the streaming networks are picking rights up like crazy!)
It’s definitely worth a read or a listen and I did very much like the way it wound up.