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Der Wasserdieb: Roman by Claire Hajaj

Der Wasserdieb: Roman

by Claire Hajaj

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book in a librarything early reviewers giveaway. I felt this story started off a little slow I had a difficult getting into it but it picked up. This is a profoundly moving story with a moral dilemma. It's a good read. ( )
  Thelmajean | Dec 17, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers program. This is the story of Nicholas who travels to Africa following the death of his father, leaving his fiancé behind, in the hope of building a children’s hospital and to try and find himself. Once there he becomes immersed in a land and culture so very different where water is one of the most important aspects of life. As he begins to develop a plan to bring water to the village, he has to make decisions that will affect not only his life but the lives of those he has come to care about.

What an amazing story told with such intensity that it will leave the reader breathless and racing to finish to the end. Reader beware, this story will stick with you well after you have read the last page and appreciate life. ( )
  debristow | Oct 7, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There was so much going on in this book. A man trying to do right by his deceased father. A young boy trying to become a man. Nicholas went to Africa to help build a hospital but found his true mission was to help a small town that was dying. He tried to do what he thought was right but corruption seemed to want to have it own answer. JoJo was such an amazing character that struggled with right and wrong while becoming a man.

I received a copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  heatherdhahn | Sep 13, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book through Librarything Early Review Member Giveaway for an honest review. This is my own thoughts about the book. This book was very good and interesting. The main character, Nicholas was a great and strong character. The book was about the water crisis in Africa. This book opened my eyes. ( )
  harleyqgrayson02 | Sep 10, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This review is for the English edition:

Nick is a thirtysomething professional in England after his father's death he decides to take a one-year sabbatical to volunteer his professional expertise as an architect on a construction project in Africa. Nick is recently engaged in isn't really sure where his life is headed. Upon his arrival in the town in an unnamed African nation, he starts to see how different life is from when he grew up with and knows back home.

The construction work that he is managing moves slowly and it is marked by many of the features of the developing world: foreign expertise, low-skilled local labor (and its challenges), leadership corruption and misguided ambition. As if that weren't enough Nick also feels challenged faces challenges with the family who is hosting him in their home. Despite having a fiancée back home, he starts an affair with his host’s wife.

As the months progress, a drought grows in the country, and everyone must buy fresh water from the governor's monopoly water supply company. There is no well or other sources of water, so without the water trucks, there is no water for irrigation cleaning cooking or drinking. The governor claims benevolence by selling water but makes a tidy profit on the backs of the villagers with no choice.

The author paints a rather bleak, although sadly realistic, picture of how close to the edge of survival millions of people live in the developing world. There seems to be some foreign money as well as some well-intentioned people genuinely trying to help get harsh it is a lack of resources and fundamentally the selfishness of human nature that keeps people stuck where they are.

Nick desperately wants to address the water shortage by drilling the well in the village. When he can't get funding by request decides to ‘borrow’ from the hospital’s construction fund do it.

As he starts the drilling project, everything starts to fall apart – his work is relationships the stability of the village – everything.

Told in rather straightforward prose with occasional color descriptions – the story also changes from third person to first person narration of the preadolescent son of Nick's host family – showing his person effective as he also comes of age in the story.

It feels like you're almost in the story feeling the heat in the sun beating down on the dry dusty air bakes in the hot winds of the African Sahel.

It's hard to stay where this leaves the reader – hopeful or helpless; relieved or agitated; happy or sad. By capturing the complexity nuance and challenges of life in developing Africa, the author does an important service to the people of that continent. She shows how the conspiracy of geography, weather, religion Western influence, and corruption have constrained and restrain the people of Africa for years and reflects on the missed opportunity of the future without some kind of radical change in one or more of these elements. That is not to say that this change is easier likely – in fact, even the degree of possibility of change is subject to debate.

Anyone who is interested in Africa or the complexities of life in the developing world would enjoy this book while a may not quite rise to the level of moral fiction it certainly is a worthwhile and valuable read. ( )
  gpaisley | Sep 9, 2018 |
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