A Study In Drowning by Ava Reid - OwlCrate Edition

"A Study In Drowning" Readalong Day 4

Amber and I are BACK this October for a fun new readalong! We're about to start our monthly discussion for our September YA book "A Study In Drowning" by Ava Reid!

Remember! Our monthly discussions will be both here on the OwlCrate blog AND on The Nest!

As a reminder, from now on, our monthly discussions will be both here on the OwlCrate blog AND on The Nest! Go check out Amber's discussion that will be full of fun extras like bookish charades, shelf scavenger hunts and coloring pages!

On each day we'll read a section of A Study In Drowning both on the blog and in The Nest's group, and then discuss in the comments our theories and predictions. This means there will be spoilers for each section! Beware! 

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for chapters 8-9 of A Study In Drowning, so make sure you read or are finished this section before continuing.

A Study In Drowning Book Club Readalong Day 4
photo by Nest Mod Anna!

A Study In Drowning Readalong

I've been reading through everyone's theories on The Nest. 

Is Effy an unreliable narrator? Is she magic? Are all the middle aged dudes in this book problematic as heck?

The last one is a yes. 

Chapter Eight

Exhausted and bleeding, it takes Effy an hour to walk back to Hiraeth. She finds Preston and asks where Ianto is.

He replies that he returned over an hour ago and is shocked that Ianto would have left Effy in this state.

She's in pain and thinks back to her experience in the car. Effy thinks about the vision of the Fairy King and the curious fact that neither Ianto's car nor the manor has any reflective surfaces or mirrors.

Still, she gives Preston the blueprints of Hiraeth, and he thanks her but is more focused on her injuries.

Preston has her sit, and he gently tends to all her wounds. Effy considers her experience and wonders if what she saw in the car was real.

She worries that Ianto will be mad, and Preston seems confused but assures her he'll probably be alright.

Preston and Effy then unfurl the Hiraeth blueprint, and she helps him make sense of it. Effy realizes that the basement may differ from the original and that the manor looks like it's been built on top of another existing structure.

Effy asks Preston about Myrrdin's widow but is reluctant to investigate her. Then, she noticed a space on the blueprint they had yet to see in the house. A small closet off a few rooms that Ianto had asked them not to go into.

As Ianto had retired, they decided to investigate the space in the morning.

 Effy leaves Preston's room and enters the hallway, she sees a flash of white, seemingly a ghost.

The pink pills she takes are supposed to guard against her visions, but she has now seen the Fairy King during the day and a ghost while on them.

She runs out of the house and back to her guest house. Afraid not of the ghost but what killed her. 

Chapter Nine

After a fitful sleep full of nightmares, Effy awakes late and swallows some pink pills to guard against her visions.


Effy runs up to Hiraeth, and as she suspected, Preston is rude about her being late. But she reminds him that she has to win sometimes, and he begrudgingly gives her his coffee.


Effy and Preston surmise that they have about an hour before Ianto returns from church service, so they go upstairs to his private rooms, careful to be quiet and avoid bothering Myrddin's widow. 


They enter Ianto's room to see that everything is perfectly ordinary except for one very unusual novel. Preston is surprised that Ianto hasn't kept many possessions of his father, and Effy responds that everyone grieves differently.


Preston reveals that his father has passed, and Effy quips a reply that they better not let Ianto find out, lest he murder them over the foundation, a gruesome ancient tradition of the Bottom Hundred. 


They also talk about how many ash trees, iron pieces, and other fae-repelling things happen on the property. 


Preston accidentally wiggles the bookcase, and it shifts. They pull it aside, and a space is revealed behind it. Inside is a metal box stamped "Property of E. Myrddin." 


Effy opens it to find a leather journal. Inside the journal are photos of a young woman, many nude and lurid. On the back of one photograph is a quote from Angharad that says " "I will love you to ruination." It was not in Emrys's handwriting. 


Hearing a noise, they leave the photographs inside the box, but Preston pockets the journal, and they book it out of Ianto's room. 


They return to the study and realize that the notebook is Myrddin's. It's full of letters about his publishing journey and several horrible comments regarding his low opinion of women. 


They find letters from Myrrdin to another author and friend, Blackmar and consider that the journal and its contents could hold the key to whether Myrrdin was a fraud. 


Before they can discuss it in detail, Ianto returns; he's upset to see them both so close and reminds them that they are at the house to work. 


He asks Effy specifically to show him more drawings that afternoon.


So Effy works on them, but Ianto does not return to her. It's night when she considers returning to the guest house but instead climbs the stairs. Past the portrait of the Fair King but then stops when she hears Ianto talking to someone about the house…mountain ash trees, and something about "having to bring her back." 


It's getting spooky! I'll be back tomorrow, friends! 

Beyond The Book

Here's another fun behind-the-scenes peek at the curation process. 

Everyone that reads books for the purpose of choosing them fills out notes on many aspects of the book. Some of those are scenes that may make great pieces of art. 

Below you'll see Teresa's end page ideas and the final art you can find in the book, created by the wonderful  @hachandraws .

Teresa's notes on the end pages : 

Front Endpages: Scene where Preston + Effy first meet where he pulls her away from the crumbling cliff - beautiful, raging sea behind them - awkward tension with them

and SPOILERS for further chapters : 

Back Endpage: Scene in study where Effy’s straddling Preston and they’re being sad and angsty and desperate with each other 


Book Imagery A Study In Drowning



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