Memory of Water Hardcover – 8 May 2014
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‘(A) poetic and melancholy debut’
‘Itäranta’s lyrical style makes this dystopian tale a beautiful exploration of environmental ethics and the power of ritual’ Washington Post
‘Gorgeous and delicate’ Library Journal, starred review.
‘Itäranta’s steady piling on of pressure on her protagonist grips, even as her prose soothes’ SFX
'Where Itäranta shines is in her understated but compelling characters' Red Star Review, Publishers Weekly
‘Gorgeous and delicate’ Library Journal, Starred Review.
‘Brilliant, lyrical prose’ Tor.com
Some secrets demand betrayal.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Well worth reading for the language: it is very beautifully written, but there's nothing to the story, which seems to run in circles, with climaxes and twists that are promised but never delivered. Too many of the characters are thin and intangible: Sanja and the Military men are well-drawn, but Noria, our protagonist and voice, is utterly colourless, and consequently hard to love or sympathise with. I've given it 3 stars, though it's more like three and a half. It's a smooth, easy read, thought I can't say I enjoyed it. It's richly poetic; miserable; pessimistic; depressing - a little like The Smiths, without the perspicacity or dark humour.
Set in a stark and maybe not too distant dystopian future, where water is scarce, teenage Noria Kaitio has been appointed the role of tea master. With this new title and placement comes responsibilities - thus our main protagonist finds she is growing up very quickly. Noria soon becomes the keeper of two very significant confidences; the illegal water spring entrusted to her, and her friend, by her father plus the knowledge of historic evidence of where the water went. Her new, secretive role of preserving the fresh water spring - for this has been the duty of her family for generations. Noria increasingly sees herself at odds with the occupying regime; she soon starts to resist the government. Her rebellious struggle leads her down a dangerous path. Noria is a driven person and is thus striving to do something for the greater good.
The expressive descriptions contrast nicely with the harsh world background setup Noria is living in. This is an attractively written narrative. It is coming of age novel with themes about family, friendship, custom/tradition and political subjugation. For me Emmi Itäranta's graceful and moving debut novel is worthy of good recognition. One example of what drew me into the book was the vivid descriptions of the plastic waste dump and its role in Noria's society, which showed originality and ingenuity by the author. I think that this book would appeal to adults, teenagers and to sci-fi/fantasy fans. That said all readers of good fiction will enjoy this rather original work.
I picked this up because I thought it might be of interest for my 11 year old niece - an ardent reader who needs a stretch and also perhaps to move away from the diary type novels and very personal issue type authors aiming at young readers. I think this might be a little too depressing for her to be honest but I might send it her way in a year or so. It's certainly the sort of good quality writing I would like her to be exposed to and I think will improve her prose.
All in all - I liked this book - it's different and that is quite hard to come by these days.
We are beyond `The Twilight century' (our own) Mankind's wasteful, indifferent attitudes to its own species and to the planet we share with other species, has resulted in the climate changes from which there is no real return. There has been the melting of the icecaps, the warming of the planet, and most of the landlocked freshwater has gone. Much of the land is given over to huge landfill containing the unrecycleable wastes of this century and the one before - plastics, electronics, consumer junk, which there is no longer the power to use.
Potable water comes, strictly quota controlled, from desalination plants. Hoarding, iillegally tapping into this water supply, and possessing more water than the agreed quota is a capital offence.
China has become the dominant world power, `New Qian'. World culture is now Chinese culture, and the world is a Chinese empire
Set in `the Scandinavian Union', Memory of Water's narrator and protagonist is 17 year old Noria. She is the daughter of a tea master, himself part of a long lineage of tea-masters (i
`Tea-masters are 'the watchers of water, but first and foremost we are its servants'
In some sense, Noria's lineage makes her a traditionalist, and an observer and adherent to older duties and customs than those imposed by political decree.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While there is a huge clue in the subject matter – the tea ceremony isn’t exactly crammed with fight scenes or car chases – I would like to emphasise that this is science fiction... Read morePublished 6 months ago by sjhigbee
A brilliant book - with a very clever story line. The main character is carefully "constructed" - totally believable and with a great deal of insight into the way that she... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kindle Bill
I enjoyed the general theme of the book and thought that the language & the way the book is written really enveloping and descriptive. However, I ended up feeling disappointed. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lucy Carr
Set in a stark and maybe not too distant dystopian future, where water is scarce, teenage Noria Kaitio has been appointed the role of tea master. Read more
I loved this book. The story is set in the not too distant future where man-made climate change has wrought its effects. Read morePublished 18 months ago by G G S COLLINS
I enjoyed this book.
Memory of Water is a dystopian fantasy set in a future world following a global environmental catastrophe. Read more
What a find! Amazon's correlation algorithms triumph and find a book that is a cut above the typical YA dystopia. Read morePublished 18 months ago by William C. Powell
The main theme of this novel is life after a man-made disaster where water is a valuable and scarce resource. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Blackcatlover