Black Water

Black Water, written by Joyce Carol Oates, is a novel based on the true events of the Chappaquiddick incident with Teddy Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne. Although it’s only a daily mail article I’ll leave the link below for the full story of the event.

In short, The Senator (based on Teddy Kennedy) leaves a party very drunk in the company of a young girl with the intent to drive her to the ferry. Due to his excessive drinking at the party and his inability to drive safely, the car soon becomes out of control. They fly off the road at a hairpin bend and plunge into ‘black water’. The Senator manages to save himself and leaves the innocent girl to drown.

The story is told on repeat throughout the novel, jumping back and forth to different points during the day. Although most of the narration seems to be in the voice of the protagonist, Kelly Kelleher, it is really a compilation of narrative voices from just about everyone involved; her friends, the police, journalists and even the Senator himself. These different voices do not come through in terms of perspective or change in person but through tone and field specific lexis. 

The novel in terms of plot is interesting, due to it’s basis on a true event, but not mind-blowingly brilliant. This is a decent plot told in an extremely fascinating way. The layers of narration and innovative story-telling techniques really made this novel intriguing for me as a student of Literature and that is why I would recommend it.

Link to new article:–left-young-woman-die.html 


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