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The Water Children: A Novel by Anne Berry
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The Water Children: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Anne Berry

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Title:The Water Children: A Novel
Authors:Anne Berry
Info:Simon & Schuster (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
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The Water Children by Anne Berry

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Sort of middling story about sad British people who have a sad connection to a river or the ocean or a pond. ( )
  picardyrose | Sep 20, 2012 |
Initially I struggled with this book as I felt that the story setting up process was taking far too long and it took me until over half way to really engage with the characters. With the 4 main characters [Catherine, Owen, Sean and Naomi] we first discover their individual stories and how interactions with water have affected their lives but it is in the second half as the 4 adults become entangled that I found myself drawn into their lives.
The book twists and turns with some 'Fatal Attraction' elements as betrayal and hurts surface but for me it is in the character of Owen that we find the most rounded and developed characterisation. Some of the desciptive passages early on are clunky and it is disjointed in places, for me the Italian episode doesn't add greatly to the story, but ultimately the book did grab me and I felt moved to tears by the ending so probably 3.5 stars would have been the more accurate rating. ( )
  arkgirl1 | Sep 22, 2011 |
This is a very accomplished book by the writer of the prize winning author Anne Berry who wrote "The Hungry Ghosts".
The story revolves around 3 main characters...all linked by water. Catherine almost drowned whilst playing on an iced over lake with her cousin. Sean is mesmerised by the river Shannon in his native Ireland. Owen is deeply damaged by the death of his younger little sister who drowns in the sea whilst he is supposed to be caring for her when he is only a child himself. Add to the mix, a mesmerising woman called Naomi, a disturbed individual who is addicted to the sea's power. Each of our characters encounter Naomi, and her alter ego Mara, and it changes their lives forever.
The novel is mainly set in London during the very hot summer of 1976. So vivid is the writing that the heat seems to emanate from the pages. Owens' story is by far the strongest and most effective for me. His sadness, guilt and longing to be loved by his bitter mother are heart breaking. His fear of water is palpable.
"The Water Children" is deeply moving and demonstrates how our past can have such a powerful effect on our present and future lives. I can certainly recommend it and it would make a great book club read with it's multi faceted characterization.
This book was made available to me, prior to publictaion, for an honest review. ( )
1 vote teresa1953 | May 25, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007303475, Paperback)

Four lives. Four defining moments which will bring them together. Owen Abingdon is haunted by nightmares of the Merfolk. He believes they have stolen his little sister who vanished while he was meant to be minding her on the beach, but he was only a child himself. Is it fair for his mother to blame him? Catherine Hoyle's perfect Christmas with her cousin from America was blighted when they went skating on thin ice and Rosalyn nearly died. Somehow, instead of being praised for raising the alarm, Catherine gets blamed. Sean Madigan grew up on a farm in Ireland. Learning to swim in the Shannon was his way of escaping the bitter poverty of his childhood, but it also incurred his father's wrath. He flees to England, but his heart belongs to the Shannon and her pulling power is ever near...Unlike the other three, Naomi Seddon didn't fear the sea. She'd been orphaned and placed in a children's home in Sheffield and cruelly abused. The sea offered her a way out and she revelled in its cruel power. The "water children" meet in London in the searing hot summer of 1976 and Naomi uses her siren's charm to lure Owen, Catherine and Sean into her tangled web of sexual charm and dangerous passion. A holiday in the Tuscan mountains with a flooded reservoir and its legend of the beautiful Teodora who drowned there brings this emotional drama to a powerful climax. Will the power of family, love and redemption finally help the water children conquer their fears and triumph over their childhood traumas?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Presents the stories of four individuals whose lives are irrevocably shaped by the pull and spirits of the water, from Owen, who believes his younger sister was stolen by merfolk in childhood; to abused orphan Naomi, who escapes into the ocean while harboring a powerful secret.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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