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Water Paperback – 19 Sep 1995


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Review

An uneven second novel by British author Thomas (Correspondence, 1993), about a mother and teenage daughter trying to come to terms with men and each other. Abandoned when her child was young, Ruth, a history professor, tries to raise Julia alone, but the absence of father and husband continually mars their relationship. While Julia struggles to deal with her father's rejection and with her newly discovered sexuality, Ruth's profound loneliness and despair drive her to invent a magical lover who initially proves more satisfying than any real man could. In some of the book's most powerful passages, Julia's adolescent rage at her mother's growing abstraction drives her to leave home and take a job as a hotel chambermaid. She also contacts her father and, in a climactic confrontation on his boat, finally sees clearly his weakness and selfishness. She is free from his domination at last; meanwhile, Ruth outgrows her phantom affair and experiences a rebirth. Sea metaphors, science, myth, and lore abound, running parallel with the plot and keeping the reader from ever getting more than casually involved with the characters. Despite some moving scenes and fine writing, the water imagery becomes tedious and virtually drowns a potentially fine novel. --Kirkus Reviews

...a dreamy novel that is pulled along by a thread of emotion --Los Angeles Times

From the Publisher

A dreamy novel pulled along by a thread of emotion
"In the end she was forced to take her chances on the open ocean and there, off the coast of Scotland, she drowned him because she thought he deserved it. he probably did." Sue Thomas currently runs the trAce On-Line International Writing Project.

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