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Water Will Find its Way

Water Will Find its Way [Kindle Edition]

Bronagh Slevin
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A bewitching tango dancer in an Argentinian brothel. An orphan seamstress lured away from the Armenian ghetto by a charming French soldier. And a mother who is struggling to overcome a legacy of shame that began the night she fled from the genocide…
Seville, 1950: Many years after reunion with her daughter, Nairi breaks the silence about the past. Sevan recounts her odyssey from the orphanage to Spain, and she finally discovers her sister Catarina, the tango temptress, whose attempts to escape from slavery in Buenos Aires’ decadent underworld still reverberate in Nairi’s life now.
Like the Spanish river that winds through the story, Slevin deftly weaves a swirling, multi-layered narrative that begs you to understand how changing fortunes can make people do things they find unsavoury. Heartrending and uplifting by turns, the journey takes us from the Armenian genocide to glamorous 1930s Beirut and Buenos Aires.
The quest of three generations of women to discover their origins, Water Will Find its Way explores family bonds and identity within a family displaced by war. It tells of the importance of passing down heritage, especially when personal and national annihilation are at stake.

"A passionate, fascinating and engrossing debut" Lucia Barry

About the Author

Bronagh Slevin was born in Ireland. She is the author of Water Will Find its Way, a novel, and the singer/songwriter on Bloom, an album she recorded with trip hop producers while at university in Bristol. She holds a Masters in Anglo-Irish Literature from the National University of Ireland. She has worked as a teacher and a translator. She has also lived in Spain, Italy and Brazil. At the moment she lives in Sicily with her family. She is working on her next novel which is set in Sicily.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 639 KB
  • Print Length: 326 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #207,267 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

An interview with the translator who is translating my book into Italian:

Interview in Milazzo, Sicily, on 14 July 2012.

T: You chose to write about places very far away from your native Ireland, Bronagh. Why Armenia?
BS: Years ago, I met an English girl who told me a little about her Armenian grandmother. She said her grandmother and her great aunt had been left as orphans in Armenia during the genocide and that their mother had fled to Argentina. I started to research the genocide - I'm still surprised by how little people know about this terrible part of twentieth century history. I felt very strongly that there was a story there that had to be told.

T: Was it difficult to research the genocide?
BS: Of course, the subject matter was often harrowing. I read testimonials of survivors, I watched films, I read books written by descendants of those who died in the massacres. Also, from my research around the genocide - the Armenian lullabies I listened to, the duduk, the wonderful tradition of Armenian poetry - mostly handed down orally from mothers and fathers to their children - it became more and more clear to me that I wanted to communicate the need to pass on familial and cultural heritage, especially in these cases where the national identity is at threat.

T: How long did it take to write?
BS: I started writing it in 2009 while living in the Amazon in Brazil. The climate was hard to tolerate, and I spent a lot of time indoors with the air-conditioning on, when I wasn't working. I decided it was the perfect time to start work on the book, with few other distractions. The first draft came about very quickly, in under a year. About half way through, my husband and I relocated to his hometown In Sicily, to relaunch the family restaurant. We redecorated it with artisan crafts gathered on all our travels and gave it a new name - Pachamama. Working on the first draft of Water Will Find its Way became an escape for me from the chaos of that period of transformation and the inauguration of Pachamama - another story in itself.

T: Did the subsequent drafts change much from the original?
BS: The biggest change was that it was originally in third person and I changed it all to first person, which allowed Anaïs much more of a voice, as she holds the story together, and the story is for her in a way, the future generation. It also gave me the structure of the three generations of women talking together in their kitchen in Seville, and walking along the Guadalquivir - finally releasing the past into their shared present.
Editing has taken much longer! I left the story for a few months at a time, and then came back to it afresh, each time adding more details and enriching the story, deepening the experience of each character.

T: Why Argentina?
BS: During the First World War Armenians - those who survived - went wherever they could to feel safe. Some stayed in Syria. Many went to France. But some went as far as America, Canada and Argentina.
I also knew that Argentina, at the start of the twentieth century, was undergoing a huge period of rapid growth. The British had opened up the country with the construction of railways and this allowed the agricultural industry to flourish. But Argentina was a sparsely-populated country and there wasn't enough manpower to keep up with the rate of progress. The government recruited men from Europe, and floods of young men came to make their fortune. Consequently, there was an imbalance in the population - there were not enough women to go round. Brothels appeared all over the major cities, especially in Buenos Aires. And men had to work on their dance skills so that they could attract the attentions of the woman they desired. Tango was danced on street corners, in tenement blocks - and also in the brothels, where men got to practice their steps to live music.
I wanted a second story to run parallel to Sevan's in Aleppo and Beirut - I wanted her to have a sister with a very different upbringing and background, to explore how the two sisters coped with the challenges life brought them. The coincidence of the time period allowed me to use tango and the brothel setting - to show the extent of Nairi's fall, and also to bring to life Catarina, perhaps the most fascinating character. The difference in their fates is where the meaning in the title, Water Will Find its Way, comes to life.

T: Thank you for sharing this with me.
BS: I look forward to your translation!
For more information, please visit my website,

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By lucieb
This is an excellent first novel by Slevin who traces the stories of three generations of women who having been separatated by the horrors of war rediscover their cultural identity and despite all remain uniquely bound by their passion for music and dance. The story spans the continents and depicts with superb clarity striking images whether they be of the bustling spice markets of Beirut, the sleepy Buorgeois French village or the seedy brothel scene of Buenos Aires.
Throughout the story the womens' passion for music and dance and how this sustained them on their journey is tangible and almost palpable.
Slevin is not afraid to address the issues of war and exploitation in a novel which is both brilliantly researched and informative.
I will be recommending this book to my friends both the avid literary readers and the occasional readers who are looking for a story which is refreshingly original and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful. 13 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this novel to be a better read than the three Booker nominees I ploughed through recently. I loved the way it all came together at the end. Slevin's style reminds me of Isabelle Allende - so many stories interwoven and done so expertly. Really liked the swirling cyclical narrative style. Couldn't put it down. When you finish a novel, you want to feel moved and enlightened: `Water will find its Way' did both.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating 31 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read this book as part of a book club. Must confess when the book was suggested I did not think this was going to be my thing. How wrong was I. Loved the story and read it in the space of two days - couldn't wait to discover what happened to the various generations in the book. Would definitely recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 12 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I could not put this book down. It is about dramatic and heart rending events. I was totally absorbed in it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A substantial achievement 7 Mar 2014
By K Hinds
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a substantial achievement for a young writer. The scale of the novel is huge covering Armenia, Buenos Aires , France and Seville in narrating the story of three generations of women facing considerable hardship and degradation against a background of political and social upheaval. The narrative maintains its urgency through skilfull interweaving of the separate story lines , vivid creation of localities and realistic social interaction. The use of the first person narrator for all three of the main characters creates difficulties in establishing a distinctive voice for each and there are occasional lapses into stereotype. However, altogether, this is a very good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant debut 1 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I read this book on a beach holiday following a recommendation from a friend. I was truly glued to the pages and a little teary at times (much to my boyfriends embarrassment!) The book follows the story of 3 generations of women from the same family. In addition to well written characters and a captivating plot, the book gives a wonderful insight into a part of history I knew little about and found fascinating. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants an engrossing yet interesting read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Joan McAteer, Omagh, loved this book! 8 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Beautifully written book. Carefully researched. Loved the theme of transgenerational sharing of precious family heritage.
Congratulations, Bronagh! Hope you write more. Joan McAteer Omagh.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and interesting read 7 Oct 2013
By terry
Very well researched book. An interesting tale about three generations of women. Sadly relevent in todays society where trafficking is all too common a problem.Well worth a read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read in a long time
This was a wonderful book, enjoyed every word, very well written moving story would highly recommend it. Looking forward to the next book.
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