The Forms of Water by Andrea Barrett

The Forms of Water

Andrea Barrett

A subtle, gentle story of family life, love, loss and change, of fractured relationships and dispossessed communities, the ties that bind us to our past and future. The rules we all live by are there, the hopes and dreams we all experience, and the unexpected outcome. The landscape and the history are as detailed as a map. I loved it.

Extract

‘In the valley?’ She’d said. ‘How can you own land in the valley? There is no valley, it’s all gone. I thought the place where you grew up was underwater now.’
‘Its near the valley,’ Brendan told her, feeling tired and exasperated. Sometimes Wiloma was as dense as a tree. ‘Near the valley, adjoining the valley, the land your grandfather owned on the ridge – you lived there. Don’t you remember it?’
She’d stared at him blankly. ‘I was eight’ she said. ‘When Mom and Dad were killed. You expect me to remember everything?’
‘Something – don’t you remember anything?’
‘I remember the cabin, sort of. I remember Mom listening to the radio and acting stranger and stranger. I remember the day Dad came home from the war.’ She had paused and looked over the wall. ‘I remember the night they were killed. You were gone.’

Parallels
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  • Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo
  • East of the Mountains by David Guterson