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The Water Childrenby Anne Berry
Synopses & Reviews
WHAT WILL DESTROY ONE CHILD WILL BE THE MAKING OF ANOTHER.
From the icy banks of a secluded country pond to the fevered core of a historic London heat wave and immersion in an abandoned underwater village in the Tuscan mountains, four young people—each of whose lives has been irrevocably altered by water— converge in this brilliantly plotted drama of passion, betrayal, revenge, and redemption.
Owen is haunted by nightmares of the Merfolk. He believes they have stolen his little sister, who vanished while he was meant to be watching her on the beach. But he was only a child himself. Is it fair for his mother to have blamed him all these years?
Catherines perfect Christmas was ruined when she went skating on a frozen pond with her cousin and the other girl nearly died. Yet it is Catherine who feels, as she says, “permanently trapped under the ice.”
Sean grew up on a farm in Ireland. Learning to swim in the River Shannon was his way of escaping the bitter poverty of his childhood, but communing with the river spirits incurred his superstitious fathers wrath.
Naomi never feared the water. She was orphaned, cruelly abused, and the sea offered a cleansing balm; she reveled in the oceans power. But Naomi has another secret buried deep within her, and during one searing hot summer she will be the catalyst for the coming together—and tearing apart—of the water children.
"Berry's second novel (after The Hungry Ghosts) addresses troubling subject matter with lush prose, making for an unsettling and engaging read about the lives of four children with powerful ties to water. When Owen was a child in Ireland, his little sister drowned while under his supervision, and his mother never forgave him; Sean escapes his difficult upbringing by swimming in the River Shannon, though his superstitious father — fearful of water spirits — beats him for his outings; Catherine witnessed her beloved cousin Rosalyn fall into a frozen lake, and though Rosalyn recovered, Catherine retreated into emotional isolation; and orphan Naomi seeks peace from abusive caretakers in the embrace of the ocean. The four come together in a sweltering London summer in 1976, but the years have not healed their wounds. Sean has married Catherine, though he and Naomi are involved in a dramatic love affair, and Owen, while working for Sean at his tourist market stall between acting gigs, warily observes Sean and Naomi's tenuous relationship. As the tides of their troubled pasts begin to rise, each character desperately tries to stay afloat. Agent: Judith Murdoch, Judith Murdoch Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
For fans of Audrey Niffenegger and Maggie O'Farrell, The Water Children is a sensual, richly atmospheric drama of passion, betrayal, revenge, and redemption.
Owen is haunted by nightmares of the Merfolk. He believes they have stolen his little sister who vanished while he was meant to be watching her on the beach, but he was only a child himself. Is it fair for his mother to have blamed him all these years?
Catherine’s perfect Christmas was ruined when she went skating on a frozen pond with her cousin and the other girl nearly died. Yet it is Catherine who, for the rest of her life, feels trapped under the ice.
Sean grew up on a farm in Ireland, the son of religious and superstitious people. Learning to swim in the River Shannon was his way of escaping the bitter poverty of his childhood, but communing with the river’s “spirits” incurred his father’s wrath. He flees to England to start a new life, but the Shannon’s pull is difficult to escape.
Naomi was orphaned and placed in a children’s home and cruelly abused. Swimming offered her an opportunity to cleanse, to escape, and she reveled in the ocean’s power. But Naomi has another secret, buried deep within her, and during one searing hot summer she will be the catalyst for the coming together—and tearing apart—of the water children.
About the Author
Anne Berry was born in London in 1956, moving on to Hong Kong at the age of six, where she was educated. She founded a small drama school, writing and directing more than thirty plays in ten years, and now lives in Surrey with her husband and four children. Her first novel, The Hungry Ghosts, was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
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