Synopses & Reviews
"My mother was never easy in the world of houses. She was a tinker, a traveler girl who had married a wealthy man. Her name was Agatha Sheehy....There are silences all around my mother's story."
So begins The Nature of Water and Air, set on a patch of Irish coast where, amid a flurry of whispers, we meet Agatha's only surviving daughter, Clodagh. Determined to secure her mother's elusive love and the truth about her, Clodagh is swept into a relationship with a handsome, isolated man. He brings her to the heart of her mother's story, where she must confront the questions "Does a truth change love?" and "What madness will come from chasing a secret?"
Powerfully sensitive, this startling debut novel about forbidden love will place Regina McBride among our most celebrated novelists.
"What distinguishes The Nature of Water and Air...is the precision of the language and the haunting power of the narrative." Edna O'Brien
"Evoking a raw and spirited Ireland, The Nature of Water and Air is an astoundingly rich and lyrical novel about mothers and daughters, secrets and delusions, and the salve of love." Tillie Olsen
"McBride writes in a shimmering and often hypnotic prose style....The Nature of Water and Air casts an undeniable spell." The New York Times Book Review
"Combining elements of a gothic novel and a folktale, this lyrical coming-of-age debut is set in a luminous Ireland....Finely wrought and deeply felt, the novel is a work of supercharged imagination, in which the presence of sea spirits, ghosts, and the dire workings of fate contribute to an atmosphere of brooding mystery." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Regina McBride is the author of The Nature of Water and Air and The Land of Women. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the New York Foundation for the Arts, she lives in New York City.