‘Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water’ Review: A Beautiful Narrative from a Complex Protagonist

Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water is one of the most beautiful novellas I’ve read. We see a woman with telepathic abilities, locked in a world from which she desperately wants to break free. Her thoughts are often raw and jumbled, flying between excitement and heartbreak, fear and determination. It’s one of the most human narratives you’ll find. Kaftan has captured the savagery of trauma on the mind and the beauty of a love story paused by terrifying circumstances. Prepare to feel all of the emotions as you travel on this journey to self-healing and acceptance.

Spoilers below, you’ve been warned!

I was most impressed by how well Kaftan captures the raw emotions stemming from anxiety, depression, and trauma. We see the protagonist truly struggle to recover from the wrongs done to her. It’s not an easy journey and it’s only when she reaches within and accepts herself for who she is that the healing begins. Her love story is essential to the plot, showing us a wife who never gave up on finding the love of her life, even after a decade of searching. They’re essentially strangers by the time she’s rescued but the memories live on and that love is something worth rediscovering. It’s hard to describe the emotional journey of experiencing this book from a reader perspective. To summarize, it’s intense and magical. 

Telepathy is also normalized, changing it from an all encompassing, universe altering power to something ordinary. There’s no crushing of cars or destruction of worlds, just a form of human connection that’s misunderstood. Her ability creates the most memorable interactions with her wife, allowing her to share in her emotions, to see her memories when her own have been tarnished. It made me emotional, imagining how an ability like that could enhance the life of someone unable to remember pivotal moments from their past. It’s a form of connection deeper than anything we’re able to feel in real life.

In the end, Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water is a special kind of book, a character piece that lets you into the very depths of the protagonist’s soul. To experience her emotions, her love, and her self-discovery is a true gift that’s hard to find. 

NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water

By Vylar Kaftan
Tor.com


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