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The Covenant of Water (Oprah's Book…
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The Covenant of Water (Oprah's Book Club) (original 2023; edition 2023)

by Abraham Verghese (Author)

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1,3015914,437 (4.41)104
"From the New York Times-bestselling author of Cutting for Stone comes a stunning and magisterial epic of love, faith, and medicine, set in Kerala, South India, following three generations of a family seeking the answers to a strange secret. The Covenant of Water is the long-awaited new novel by Abraham Verghese, the author of the major word-of-mouth bestseller Cutting for Stone, which has sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years. Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India's Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning-and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala's long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl--and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi--will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants. A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. Imbued with humor, deep emotion, and the essence of life, it is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years"--… (more)
Member:teddyclaire7
Title:The Covenant of Water (Oprah's Book Club)
Authors:Abraham Verghese (Author)
Info:Grove Press (2023), 736 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese (2023)

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» See also 104 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
I was trying to immerse myself in this long family saga but could not persevere past the images of the sixteen year old wife having distant encounters with her widower husband. ( )
  itheodore | Mar 3, 2024 |
With many intriguing plots, I still did not connect with any character except The Elephant Damodaron.

Beauty in "The Madras evening breeze..."

And had decided, if Philopose cut down his Palau tree, that I would just skim the rest of the book.

It was not Queequeg, but Tashtego at the mast of Ahab's drowning ship.

Both character and author disappointing - way too much death, death, and more death. ( )
1 vote m.belljackson | Feb 11, 2024 |
Good ….but too long!!!!! ( )
2 vote SBG1962 | Feb 11, 2024 |
I have never forgotten Cutting for Stone by this author so was excited when I heard of his new book. It is a long read but well worth persevering. I was delighted to learn that my granddaughter’s school friend was currently holidaying in Kerala, where her grandparents live. Kerala was evoked so vividly. ( )
  HelenBaker | Feb 5, 2024 |
Spanning nearly eight decades, this lush, immersive novel follows several generations of a family in Kerala, on India’s southwest Malabar coast, who suffer from a peculiar affliction concerning water, which they refer to in the family as The Condition. In every generation at least one family member drowns in this watery world. The story begins in 1900 when a twelve-year-old girl, whose missionary father dies, is dispatched into a marriage with a 40-year-old widower with a young child, arranged by her uncle. This young girl will grow into a fierce, but loving, matriarch, Big Ammachi, whose losses, hardships, faith, and love remain at the center of the story. Other vivid characters – her son, Philipose, who has The Condition, and his wife Elsie, an artistic genius; Digby, a Scottish surgeon, who takes over the running of a leper colony from a Swedish doctor named Rune; and ultimately, Mariamma, Big Ammachi’s granddaughter, who becomes a neurosurgeon so she can diagnose, ultimately treat, and maybe one day cure The Condition. One of the novel’s overarching themes is faith – in both God and medicine. The family at the center of the novel and many of the families that occupy the lands around them are St. Thomas Christians. Allegedly St. Thomas, one of Jesus’s disciples, landed on the Malabar Coast and converted some Brahmin families to Christianity. These are good, but flawed, people, and Verghese masterfully brings them to life. The story and the characters were so compelling that despite its length, it was a book I did not wish to end. ( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
Water affects a family’s fate in this enthralling epic from the physician-author, set across three generations...This is a novel – a splendid, enthralling one – about the body, about what characters inherit and what makes itself felt upon them. It is the body that contains ambiguities and mysteries. As in his international bestseller Cutting for Stone, Verghese’s medical knowledge and his mesmerising attention to detail combine to create breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat scenes of survival and medical procedures that are difficult to forget. Tenderness permeates every page, at the same time as he is ruthless with the many ways his characters are made vulnerable by simply being alive....The Covenant of Water contains a larger question of community and belonging, one that feels most important in these days of escalating political wars and tensions: is it possible to be fragile and wounded, and still necessary and loved? The answer is rendered with care by a writer who looks at the world with a doctor’s knowing, merciful gaze. As much as any moral reckoning or catastrophic plot point, this is why literature, in all its comforting and challenging forms, matters.
 
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Epigraph
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden. --Genesis 2:10
Not hammer-strokes, but dance of the water, sings the pebbles into perfection. --Rabindranath Tagore
Dedication
For Mariam Verghese

In Memoriam
First words
She is twelve years old, and she will be married in the morning.
Quotations
We don't have children to fulfill our dreams. Children allow us to let go of the dreams we were never meant to fulfill.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"From the New York Times-bestselling author of Cutting for Stone comes a stunning and magisterial epic of love, faith, and medicine, set in Kerala, South India, following three generations of a family seeking the answers to a strange secret. The Covenant of Water is the long-awaited new novel by Abraham Verghese, the author of the major word-of-mouth bestseller Cutting for Stone, which has sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years. Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India's Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning-and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala's long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl--and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi--will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants. A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. Imbued with humor, deep emotion, and the essence of life, it is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years"--

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Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water follows a family in southern India that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning - and in Kerala, water is everywhere.

At the turn of the century a twelve-year-old girl, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this poignant beginning, the young girl and future matriarch - known as Big Ammachi - will witness unthinkable changes at home and at large over the span of her extraordinary life, full of the joys and trials of love and the struggles of hardship.

A shimmering evocation of a lost India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the hardships undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today.
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