Like a Girl Out of Water

The Miller's Creek Trilogy

Fiction - New Adult
778 Pages
Reviewed on 02/03/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

HALLE ATHERTON's first novel, Like a Girl Out of Water-The Miller's Creek Trilogy, is now available in eBook format at Kindle Publishing. Halle writes:
"Much of this trilogy is set on the Western Shore (Northern Neck) of the Chesapeake, an area to which my family has deep ties. The grand antebellum plantation house and farm known as “Waterview” that figures centrally in these books is the fictional version of a venerable old waterfront estate that does exist there. One of its scions, a childhood acquaintance of my spouse, launched a successful run for the United States Senate from the real “Waterview.”
The competitive swimming elements of the books were inspired by my own collegiate experiences in that realm, and those of one of my siblings who captained the swim team at a major eastern university. A nephew who is a combat-decorated Navy SEAL provided ample, realistic material for the character of Josh Walker. Finally, the 2004 Athens Summer Games made their way into this work as a result of the experiences of my godson, a member of the U.S. Olympic team that year.
Each of these elements, come together in this epic story of intrigue, coming of age, and lost love."

Atherton's primary passion is the outdoor world; parts of most summers Halle can be found, fly rod in hand, in Montana, and parts of most winters, roaming in South Dakota. When not in these aberrant outdoorsy modes, Halle resides and writes in the mid-Atlantic region of the country.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite

The writing is superb. That is the first thing I must say about Like a Girl Out of Water by Halle B. Atherton. Her descriptions of family life, childhood, and just living in the South brought to mind the writing of the late great Pat Conroy. Halle’s writing will be her strong suit in any book she chooses to write. That’s how good it is. All the elements of a good story are here in abundance. Strong settings, great realistic characters, and a plot that Shakespeare would approve. Yet with all that, I have to say it is the writing that ties it all together and pushes it past being a good romance into the realm of greatness. Like a Girl Out of Water is a great book. Make no mistake about it. I do not compare writers to Pat Conroy lightly. I loved his work and I love the writing of Halle B. Atherton. This is the first thing I have read by her. It will not be the last.

I don’t know where this plot is going further in The Miller's Creek Trilogy. That is as it should be. I want it to surprise me. I want it to jump out of the bushes and slap me in the face. I guess I’m kinda weird. But here’s the thing; with writing like this, you don’t have to know where you are going. That is because you know you are in good hands, and you are enjoying the journey so much. Why spoil it with a predictable plot? The setting is authentic and very well written. I grew up on the Gulf Coast. I have taken the boat out and fished with boyhood friends and innocently longed for beautiful girls. Halle describes that feeling and situation beautifully. You can’t love a book if there is no one worthy to love in the book. Predictably, I fell in love with Allie Wainwright, but to be honest, I loved all these characters.

Ruffina Oserio

Like a Girl Out of Water: The Miller's Creek Trilogy by Halle B. Atherton comprises all the books in the trilogy — Beginnings, Apart, and Endings, a young adult fiction with rock-solid characters, strong themes, and interesting plot points. The narrative follows the life of a young swimmer, Allie Wainwright, who at 22 has already won four Olympic gold medals, making her the darling of American males. The story takes readers through a moment of connection with David Blackledge as teenagers. After drifting apart, David and Allie will meet again and in the most unlikely of circumstances. Can the bond once broken be reconstructed?

Themes of romance, intrigue and espionage, and death are beautifully explored in this trilogy. The author uses suspense which develops around the skillful crafting of an interesting subplot to sustain the interest of readers. Allie and David are characters that readers quickly learn to love, and it is interesting to follow their growth in the athletic and sporting arenas. Halle B. Atherton keeps the story real, infuses the characters with humanity, and crafts scenes that are focused and engaging. Like a Girl Out of Water: The Miller's Creek Trilogy is fast-paced, a collection of three breezy novellas that explores the hearts and souls of two people. Great writing, filled with vivid images, and a setting that is as vivid as it is transporting. Here is a book that can keep a reader up the entire night, deftly plotted and beautifully accomplished.

Grant Leishman

David Blackledge and Josh Walker had been friends forever, since first grade in fact. Growing up next to a river in rural Virginia, the pair was inseparable and although a rambunctious team who at times got into minor trouble, the general consensus in the region was that these two were “good boys”. In Like A Girl Out Of Water: The Miller Creek Trilogy by Halle B Atherton, a chance encounter on the river when the boys are thirteen will come back to haunt them many years later. When David met Allie Wainwright, the attraction between the pair was instantaneous and both had felt they had met their soul-mate. But, as so often happens, as teens grow into adults and drift apart physically, attending different colleges, petty jealousy and doubts arise and what seemed perfect just a month ago no longer seems so. David, Allie and Josh all go on to be incredibly successful in their chosen fields, but even as the years go by neither can forget that first, perfect love. Keeping them tied together is both of their deep friendships with Josh, now a Navy SEAL serving in Afghanistan. David is a major league baseball player and Allie an Olympic champion swimmer, but it will take a tragedy to bring these two back together.

Like A Girl Out Of Water: The Miller Creek Trilogy is a wonderful exposition of young love and the accompanying angst that we’ve all felt at some point. Author Halle B Atherton has produced three over-achiever characters here that somehow seem to work and, despite their phenomenal success, are readily identifiable and draw empathy from the reader. I loved how, despite all their successes, all three remained grounded in their morals and their rural Virginian roots and family. Yes, at various times they all made poor decisions and yet, with grit, determination and sheer-bloody mindedness, they still made their circumstances work for them.

The narrative was well written and flowed seamlessly from one POV to the next. I felt the passionate love scenes were exciting and sensual without crossing that line into crudity. This was a fantastic read and definitely one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Yes, it is a romance, but it is much more than that; it is a life-affirming tale of simple, honest folk achieving great success over sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds. I can highly recommend this book and look forward to the remainder of this trilogy. I am invested in these characters now and want to see where the author’s story line will take them next.