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

by Abraham Verghese (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5447511,744 (4.38)128
"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:jemisonreads
Title:The Covenant of Water (Oprah's Book Club)
Authors:Abraham Verghese (Author)
Info:Grove Press (2023), 736 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:fiction

Work Information

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese (2023)

  1. 10
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (charlie68)
    charlie68: A shorter work with similar themes of playfulness with the language or languages and humor.
  2. 10
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  3. 00
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  4. 00
    The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh (Dariah)
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    The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (aprille)
  6. 00
    The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin (charlie68)
    charlie68: Similar themes
  7. 00
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    charlie68: Also similar themes, with thorough trips to the operating room.
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» See also 128 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
DNF…couldn’t do it. Dull, drawn out, uninteresting. ( )
  dugmel | May 20, 2024 |
A beautiful book with a lot of tragedies. Just like life, I guess. ( )
  AngelClaw | May 11, 2024 |
I know this will be an unpopular rating - only 3 stars - but I'm so glad I'm finally finished with this. I don't shy away from long books, as long as they're good. Covenant of Water, although the writing is very good, was simply too long and could as well have been told in 500 pages instead of the 700 . The author went off on descriptive tangents that didn't need to be told and didn't add to the narrative. Sorry Mr. Verghese. ( )
  milbourt | May 11, 2024 |
Lovely story, good writing. Interesting and believable characters. Didn't fill me with passion but still looked forward to reading it every night. ( )
  RaynaPolsky | May 11, 2024 |
Yes it's long- but the life of this family is told with such evocative detail, starting with the matriarch as a 13 yr old bride and continuing into the lives of her children, friends and granddaughter - amazing in its ability to draw you into each character's life & thoughts, with straightforward prose and a sympathetic tone; I want to go to southwestern India now! ( )
  BDartnall | May 1, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (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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Book description
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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