"Into the Water" by Paula Hawkins
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Author:  AineteEkaterini [ Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:54 pm ]
Post subject:  "Into the Water" by Paula Hawkins

Only just become aware of the use of 'Down by the Water' in Paula Hawkins's second thriller (the first was The Girl on the Train, made into a movie), Into the Water, published in 2016. The novel concerns a series of drownings of women in a fictional Northumbrian town and the gradually-revealed connections between them. The site is The Drowning Pool which has been the location of the death of 'troublesome women' over the centuries, a sequence of 'swum' witches, suicides, and murdered wives. On p.220 the closest thing the book has to a protagonist, Jules, sister of the last victim, is staying in the family home she hates to look after Lena, her niece and the victim's teenage daughter:

I collapsed, drifting in and out of dreams until I heard the door go downstairs, Lena’s footsteps on the stairs. I heard her going into her room and turning her music on, loud enough for me to hear a woman singing.

That blue-eyed girl
Said ‘No more,’
That blue-eyed girl
Became blue-eyed whore.

… When I woke again the music was still playing, the same song … I wanted it to stop, was desperate for it to stop … I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, but I heard the woman singing still.

Little fish, big fish, swimming in the water –
Come back here, man, gimme my daughter.

Not very likely that a 15-year-old in 2013 would be listening to this, but one can forgive that. The song neatly expresses the central motif of the book, and I wonder how Ms Hawkins came across it. Note that she uses the official version of the lyric, not what Polly actually sings (which would be 'she said "No more" ').

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