Elizabeth's world is turned upside down when her husband dies in a tragic drowning accident.
How typical of her kind, generous husband - a respected police officer - to sacrifice his own life saving a complete stranger's.
Or so she thinks.
What exactly was her husband doing at the lake that night? And what if his death isn't the most difficult thing she will have to deal with?
Elizabeth must face the consequences of her husband's actions. As she does so, it seems that the end of Mike's life is only the beginning of his wife truly getting to know him.
The story starts with the death of Elizabeth receiving the heartbreaking news that husband Michael has died.
Local policeman Michael drowned whilst saving a young woman and Elizabeth is left in a world surrounded by grief.
But as grief starts to take hold so do questions and soon people start to wonder how well did they really know Michael.
The truth is that it's taken me some time to get the wording of this review right, because although I found this story heartbreaking and I felt for the turmoil the characters were going through, I also felt an overwhelming surge of anger.
I know from experience that grief can manifest in different ways but something happens that left me angry, so angry and not at the person you would assume.
I won't say any more for fear of spoiling the story but I will say I think it's a credit to Stephanie Butland that she created a story that even now can evoke so much emotion.
I wasn't always angry whilst reading this and through the pages I did find a wonderful character in the form of Mel, Elizabeth's sister.
She travelled from Australia to be by her sisters side, to support her and be with her when she needed her the most.
Mel stays strong for her sister and even at a time when she could do with a supportive shoulder, she shows her strength.
Surrounded by Water takes you on an emotional journey through past and present.
A journey that deals with loss, love and lies.
A journey that will break your heart and your emotions through letters.
A journey that will stay with you!
Thank you to Patsy at Transworld for sending me a copy to review.
With the story evoking so much anger in me, I asked my mum to read it and describe for me her feelings.
Viewing this story from Elizabeth's perspective, I found myself overwhelmed with emotion.
The story for me was heart breaking, to imagine losing your husband is devastating.
I found at first that I wasn't endeared to Patricia, Elizabeth's mother in law, but as I discovered more about her back story my opinion of her changed.
Ultimately this is a beautiful story of love and deceit!