Heterochromia: Background information when reading Dark Water

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Dark Water

by Laura McNeal

Dark Water by Laura McNeal X
Dark Water by Laura McNeal
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2010, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2011, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Ellis Smith
Buy This Book

About this Book

Heterochromia

This article relates to Dark Water

Print Review

Pearl has one brown eye and one blue eye. Amiel says to her that this means "tu eres de dos mundos. You are of two worlds." Pearl's uncle says it means that she can see fairies and peaceful ghosts.

eyes


But what is it exactly?

Heterochromia simply means a difference in coloration and is caused by a relative excess or lack of melanin. The term is sometimes used to describe distinct differences in hair or skin color, but most commonly refers to the coloration of the iris.

Complete heterochromia is when the iris is a different color entirely. Partial heterochromia is, as it sounds, when only a part of the eye is different. Heterochromia is most often an inherited condition, but it can also be the result of mosaicism (two populations of cells with different genotypes) or the result of an injury or disease. Like both Pearl's uncle and Amiel, some people and cultures have credited the two color phenomenon with powers such as having the ability to perform witchcraft, or as having "ghost eyes," which is the gift of seeing both heaven and earth at the same time.

siberian huskyHeterochromia is common in some species of animals - cats, horses and dogs (especially Siberian huskies and various sheep dogs such as Australian shepherd and border collies). It is rare in humans, but Pearl does share this wild-eyed condition with some famous folks: Alexander the Great, Dan Ackroyd, punk rocker Tim McIlrath, Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, Jane Seymour, Kate Bosworth, and Kiefer Sutherland, to just name a few.

Bottom image: Siberian Husky
Top image: The eyes of David Bowie who, depending on who you ask, either has acquired heterochromia or one pupil is permanently dilated giving the appearance of heterochromia - in either case, the cause was a childhood accident.

This "beyond the book article" relates to Dark Water. It originally ran in November 2010 and has been updated for the October 2011 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Flight Portfolio
    The Flight Portfolio
    by Julie Orringer
    At once a sweeping historical narrative, an insightful character study and a tender romance, Julie ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Make Friends with the Dark
    How to Make Friends with the Dark
    by Kathleen Glasgow
    Don't go to bed angry; make up after fights; always say I love you – you don't know when ...
  • Book Jacket
    Red Birds
    by Mohammed Hanif
    Mohmmed Hanif's Red Birds is part Catch-22, part Slaughterhouse-Five, part Kafka's The Castle, and ...
  • Book Jacket: Endeavour
    Endeavour
    by Peter Moore
    Miriam-Webster defines a biography as "a usually written history of a person's life." One might ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Travelers
    by Helon Habila

    A startlingly exploration of the African diaspora in Europe, by an acclaimed international writer.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Collection
    by Jeanne Mackin

    A vivid novel about the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Guest Book

The Guest Book
by Sarah Blake

"An American epic in the truest sense."
—Entertainment Weekly

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

M I Haste, R A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.