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The Sweetness of Water
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
What price do we pay for freedom? For readers of WASHINGTON BLACK, THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD and DAYS WITHOUT END. In the dying days of the American Civil War, newly freed brothers Landry and Prentiss find themselves cast into the world without a penny to their names. Forced to hide out in the woods near their former Georgia plantation, they're soon discovered by the land's owner, George Walker, a man still reeling from the loss of his son in the war. When the brothers begin to live and work on George's farm, the tentative bonds of trust and union begin to blossom between the strangers. But this sanctuary survives on a knife's edge, and it isn't long before the inhabitants of the nearby town of Old Ox react with fury at the alliances being formed only a few miles away. Conjuring a world fraught by tragedy and violence yet threaded through with hope, THE SWEETNESS OF WATER is a debut novel unique in its power to move and enthral.
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amma-keep-reading
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
Mehso-so

It started off strong but lost me after a senseless act of violence. Everything afterwards just frustrated and confused me.

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Tamra
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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I‘m probably going to settle in for a long winter‘s nap - after starting my new read. 😴

jlhammar Oooh, I‘ve had this on my shelves for a while. I was thinking I might give it a go in February. Look forward to your thoughts! 1mo
Cathythoughts I remember loving this. The characters ❤️ 1mo
Tamra @jlhammar me too, but the time must be now because my fingers gabbed it off the shelf! 1mo
Tamra @Cathythoughts 😊 I‘m glad to know! 1mo
65 likes4 comments
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Kenyazero
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

Stunning prose highlighting grief, life, and finding ways to move on in the face of absolute tragedy. I liked this book, but it is not an easy read. If you‘re looking for something thoughtful and beautifully written, or something to channel strong emotions through that‘s outside of your own life, this is a great pick. I read it for a #Storygraph reading challenge and didn‘t regret it even though it has all the features I avoid period pieces for.

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TEArificbooks
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

This one deserves the hype and the awards. It was a slow burn until half way through. One of the best books I read this year.

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Bevita
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

Gorgeous. Georgia after the Civil War, two freed brothers, gay soldiers…completely unexpected and a beautiful story.

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abookishbutterfly
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
Pickpick

This complex, emotional narrative was compulsively readable. There were moments I was so involved with the content that I was reacting verbally to it!

26 likes1 stack add
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Kempfme
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
Mehso-so

Interesting read, but did not really hold my attention.

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DisneyFan
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Mehso-so

Finally, completed my first #bookspinbingo!!!

This book was on my TBR a long time. Beautiful, albeit melancholic writing. Some parts were brilliant, others I found cliched (predictable plot twists, cartoonish villains).

#bookspinbingo
#august2022

julieclair Congrats! 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay bingo!!!! 5mo
54 likes2 comments
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AllDebooks
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
Pickpick

I picked this on a whim after finding it on sale. I'm so glad I did. Harris is an author to watch. His debut novel is so moving as he frames his story around the end of the civil war in America and the implications for a small community in the South.

Graywacke I really enjoyed this too. 7mo
AllDebooks @Graywacke it certainly deserves it's place on the award lists, hope that brings it to the attention of more readers. 7mo
10 likes2 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

This was a great complex story - two brothers newly freed, one couple who hires them to work the land and their son who has a romance with the neighbor boy. A family drama with trauma but a ribbon of heart running through. Well told story.

27 likes1 stack add
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Addison_Reads
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

Catching up on reviews this morning before my day starts.

This book was such a wonderful surprise. I read it because it was on several best-of lists and I can certainly see why now.

It's a slow burn of a story full of rich characters and beautiful settings. I was drawn into the vivid descriptions, the small town, and the big heart of a family who chose to do the right thing even when it meant standing alone.

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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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#weeklyforecast with a Calamity photo bomb.

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TracyReadsBooks
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

This assured, emotionally rich debut is one to savor & take your time with. Set in the South, in the town of Old Ox, during the last days of the Civil War, this is a story about finding your courage & losing it, about cruelty—intentional, causal & unintended, about family, broken & whole, about love, & at its core, it‘s about hope. Whether George Walker is foolish or brave, what he sets in motion takes readers for quite a ride. Excellent.

27 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Tonight‘s reading

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StellaB
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

A post civil war novel about the struggles of people recently freed from slavery, but also about white Americans with different loves and priorities from the majority. I found this lyrical and insightful, very impressive for a first novel. Some parts of the story are a little idealistic, inspiring a belief that a fairer society is possible, but also not quite believable. But the narrative is beautifully constructed and really drew me in.

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Graciouswarriorprincess
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Book 19/150 of the year.

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Daisey
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this historical fiction set in the South immediately following the U.S. Civil War, but it didn‘t wow me. I am looking forward to discussing it next weekend.

#audiobook #LitsyBookClub

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tpixie
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Starting this for #LitsyBookClub. Come join us!

57 likes1 stack add
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litsybookclub
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Sorry about not posting for a couple of months. Dealing with some personal stuff.

New month, new book! Please join us in reading this month‘s selection. Zoom will be posted later in the month.

Questions? Ask @Bookworm83 or @Graciouswarriorprincess

Suet624 This book was a wonderful surprise. So good. 11mo
Zuhkeeyah Oooh this is a good one! 11mo
tpixie @Zuhkeeyah @Suet624 that‘s great to hear! When I saw it was an Oprah Book Club pick, I hesitated (edited) 11mo
40 likes3 comments
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ncsufoxes
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

It took me a little while to get into this book (or maybe it‘s because I haven‘t had as much downtime to focus on a book). I eventually found my stride & raced through the rest. It was an interesting story about a possible outcome of a small southern town post the Civil War. Each character provides a richness to the story & you feel connected to their struggles & their plight. It was a beautifully written story about difficult subject matter.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 11mo
18 likes1 comment
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staci.reads
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

This took me a while to get into, but once I engaged with Isabelle, I was hooked. It's a tragic and inspirational story that's told softly. There's little about the writing that is overwrought, and yet it packs multiple gut punches. I also haven't read much fiction set in reconstruction era South, so I appreciated that aspect. This was my February #Bookspin @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 11mo
70 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Berryfan
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
Pickpick

The author is a very good writer. The characters are very clear and distinct and are complete people. My issue is that the book is almost relentlessly sad. The authors skill makes the book a journey of regret, remorse, frustration and grim anxiety.

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mjtwo
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

13 Dec 21-3 Feb 22
Booker Longlist #9
Set immediately after the end of the Civil War, this is a story of one family working to help two newly freed men and the repercussions for all of them. It is not a happy story, yet neither is it heavy or dark. It does not preach or generalise but tells a simple narrative.
I enjoyed it, more than many of the Booker nominees this year. And in the end it did feel as though good triumphed over evil in some way.

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JackieGreco
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
Pickpick

I loved this novel about a small town in the post civil war south. The characters were intriguing and different and it was a generally positive story of good triumphing evil. This definitely was a fictional feel good color blind story but I did enjoy the read. 4/5

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Pinta
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

Well-drawn, memorable characters. Georgia in aftermath of Civil War. LOVE the 3rd-person omniscient narrator with ATTITUDE. Like Tolstoy, compassion but w/ humor & some snark. Lyrical, straightforward prose. Keen detail. Beautiful depictions of natural world. Grief, courage, emancipation, familial love, violence, integrity. Young author w/ voice like an old master, amazing sentence-level craft. Authoritative, intimate. Confident & knowing. 2021

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Graywacke
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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#12Booksof2021
#September

This was a better month than August because I finally finished three really long books and felt free to move on. (I eventually finished seven books this month.) It was a month of good, not great books. But it included this new charming oddball novel, which I really enjoyed on audio.

Andrew65 Looks great. 13mo
45 likes1 comment
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Kelican17
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Bailedbailed

I tried. 🤷🏻‍♀️. I need more to happen, and happen faster. The narrator was also difficult for me to follow, i kept zoning out when I would try to listen

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Oryx
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Why I always carry my Kindle. Queuing down the street for my booster. Maybe I can finish in time for book club tomorrow!

Cathythoughts I really enjoyed this one 14mo
Chrissyreadit To be honest, I‘m glad so many people want it there‘s a line. 🙌🎉🙌 14mo
TrishB Always a good reason to carry it 👍🏻 14mo
See All 8 Comments
TrishB Hope you‘re not waiting too long. 14mo
BittersweetBooks I always carry a book for this exact reason, couldn‘t think of a better way to pass the time 13mo
Oryx @TrishB 2 hours 13mo
TrishB 👍🏻 it‘s done now. Hope you‘re feeling ok. 13mo
Oryx @TrishB really glad to have it done. Feeling ok after it so far. 13mo
69 likes8 comments
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Oryx
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Found myself a sunny spot for some afternoon reading.

Johanna414 Oh that looks perfect! I love your quilt! 14mo
Soubhiville I love your quilt too! 14mo
JamieArc Great quilt! I had a friend make me a quilt that looks like stacks of books. 14mo
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Oryx @JamieArc @Soubhiville @Johanna414 Thanks! My sister made it - I love it. 14mo
squirrelbrain Looks blissful - enjoy! 😘 14mo
ozma.of.oz I have the same bookmark! ❤️ (edited) 14mo
tokorowilliamwallace The quilt is 90s aesthetic! 14mo
72 likes1 stack add7 comments
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scripturient
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Getting started on our December Gladstonerds read. 😊

Caroline2 Ohhh 😯 exciting! I hoping to get started next week. I have 3 books on the go at the mo so I‘ll finish them off first. 👍 14mo
TrishB Look forward to seeing what you think! 14mo
jenniferw88 Started Friday night but already thinking about bailing - read chapter 1 friday & chapter 2 saturday but when i started chapter 2 i couldn't remember @ first what had happened in chapter 1, even though i read on consecutive days! 14mo
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Leniverse Oops, I needed that reminder! 😅 14mo
squirrelbrain Yes, I look forward to seeing what you all think too! 14mo
Caroline2 @jenniferw88 oh dear 😬 that doesn‘t bode well….. 14mo
71 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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rockpools
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Thank you #Gladstonerds! Picked up this months book at work this afternoon, and came home to your very lovely postcard, with everyone‘s messages. I am SO sorry I didn‘t get there!

@squirrelbrain @TrishB @CGainor3 @jenniferw88 @julesG @Leniverse @scripturient @Oryx

squirrelbrain We missed you! I hope you like the book… I did! 14mo
Cathythoughts Lovely card ❤️. I really enjoyed this book too 14mo
57 likes2 comments
review
sprainedbrain
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

Oh, this one is good. The incredibly rich characters, the increasing complexity of the story, and the gifted storytelling make this Reconstruction-era tale super engaging. I wasn‘t expecting the white characters to be so central, and while I‘m sure the redemption story wasn‘t so true-to-history, it‘s pleasant to think there may have been good souls like the Walkers.

Great audio narration took this strong debut up a notch for me, too.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

sprainedbrain Also, if I had read this a bit sooner or could have had more than 20 books on my #NewYearWhoDis list, this one would have been on it. 😉 @monalyisha @Amandajoy 1y
Tamra I‘m anxious to get to this one! 1y
Cathythoughts Lovely review! I loved this one too ❤️ 1y
89 likes7 stack adds3 comments
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TrishB
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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#kindledailydeal
Some good reviews for 99p 😁

Cathythoughts I really enjoyed this one ❤️ 1y
TrishB @Cathythoughts that‘s good to know 👍🏻 1y
74 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Suet624
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

The story takes place immediately following the Civil War. The author covers a lot of territory and for the most part I feel he does a good job outlining how people reacted to their new way of life. Critics seem to think the idea that there were white people who would work alongside former slaves was far-fetched, but I prefer to imagine it happened. I felt very connected with the characters and liked the story a lot.

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Suet624
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Much like The Five Wounds that I read recently, I find myself thinking of the characters in this story when I‘m at work. I worry about them and wonder how they‘re doing. I was thinking about how this book, like The Five Wounds, reminded me of Luis Alberto Urrea‘s storytelling. Then wouldn‘t you know it! Just like he did for The Five Wounds, Urrea has written a recommendation for the back of this book.

DivineDiana Remarkable! 1y
45 likes1 stack add1 comment
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staci.reads
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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My daughters and I hit the bookstore after watching my son's rugby game! Only two are mine 📚. I love that my kids are readers 🥰 📖

TheLudicReader They Both Die at the End is sooo good. 1y
70 likes1 comment
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Zuhkeeyah
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

Sweetness of Water: 3.75 stars

I‘m always a touch wary of the emotional toll that is sometimes exacted when a story deals with slavery. This one had some unexpected champions battling the predictable foes. A constant theme in this book was understanding what defines bravery. Should it be determined by whether you stand your ground or concede defeat? There is often strength in both.

Nute Nice review! 1y
8 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Graywacke
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

Strange is the wrong word, but I thought it had some oddities. The dialogue is colorful and quietly dynamic, except when it's not. The prose in contrast is straight-forward and plain and clean. The contrast, exaggerated on audio, is kind of endearing. I enjoyed this.

My second from the Booker list, a novel on the immediate aftermath of Civil War, beginning days after surrender in Georgia.

Tamra On my TBR shelf thankfully! I‘m glad to hear you enjoyed - I‘ll bump it up. 1y
Cathythoughts I really enjoyed this too ❤️ 1y
Graywacke @Tamra @Cathythoughts I‘m still thinking about this. Has a charm and something distinct about it too. 1y
39 likes3 comments
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ClairesReads
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

There‘s lots to be commended in this debut novel, it‘s emotionally affecting and engaging storytelling. In lots of ways it reminded me of Kristin Hannah‘s Four Winds in that so much happens. At times I felt that Harris wasn‘t able to do justice to all the elements of plot and characterisation because there are so many. In the end, I felt it was probably more Oprah than Booker fare- but it was a good read regardless.

Cathythoughts Nice review! I agree it was a good read 1y
ClairesReads @Cathythoughts thank you 🙏🏻 1y
35 likes2 comments
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shortsarahrose
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Spent the afternoon doing some of my favorite things: having coffee and a sandwich outside while reading and doing a bit of shopping at some local small business - including getting a couple #bookerlonglist titles
#bookhaul

20 likes1 stack add
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Graywacke
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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My next audio/Booker longlist book. Not a fan of the title. It has an unusual start and I‘m enjoying it so far. But, as with several other longish contemporary novels I‘ve read recently, it lacks some kind of strong hook upfront to draw me in. So, again, just good enough so far to keep me involved.

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Brimful
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

An extraordinary debut novel with lots to recommend. A novel about hope and courage in a variety of forms. But for me the reach was just too broad which meant the novel was unfocused. That‘s not to say I say did don‘t learn a lot. I had never really thought about transitioning to freedom in a racist society and the problems that would bring. But I would have liked more on that topic.

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squirrelbrain
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

I‘ve had a ‘finishing off lots of books‘ kinda morning, so get ready for a few reviews….

I loved this #bookerlonglist nominee, particularly the audio narration. I think there is a slight issue of rose-tinted glasses in how George and his family would have behaved but it‘s a great story, captivating, life-affirming and sad all at the same time.

Will be on my Booker shortlist for sure.

Cathythoughts Great review! Yes , I never even thought of the the rose tinted glasses.. good point .. I just loved it … I think a definite for the short list too 👍🏻❤️ 1y
BarbaraBB Fab review! 1y
59 likes2 comments
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Cathythoughts
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

The Sweetness Of Water .. All the stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
There are some lovely books on the long list .. this is my favorite so far. The characters feel so real & there is a richness to all of it. I won‘t be able to think upon these characters without welling up for some time .. George ❤️ what a character. All of them ❤️ written with huge heart

squirrelbrain Glad to hear you loved it - I‘m probably about 20% through on audio…. Lovely photo too! (edited) 1y
Cathythoughts @squirrelbrain Look forward to your thoughts 👍🏻❤️ we were glamping at the weekend & this is a picture of the area … the ripples are from my husband jumping in from a pier out of the photo shot … 1y
Tamra I had this in my hands yesterday! I‘m so glad to read your excellent rating - I‘ll bump it up on the TBR. 😊 1y
See All 8 Comments
Cathythoughts @Tamra look forward to your thoughts thoughts too … I loved it 1y
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 1y
sarahbarnes I‘m still trying to get ahold of a copy of this one! Great review - glad you loved it. ❤️ 1y
Cathythoughts @TrishB Thanks 👍🏻❤️ 1y
Cathythoughts @sarahbarnes I‘ll look forward to your thoughts ❤️ 1y
63 likes1 stack add8 comments
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charl08
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris

Now he faced reality. That it was him. Alone. The thought was a bolt of fear, but he knew that he would come to know this new life as he'd learned to know all those that had come before - for every step in life had been an obstacle, yet here he was, still standing day after day, ready for whatever might happen next. The shred of hope felt like salvation, and it drew him toward a deep slumber.

23 likes2 stack adds
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BookwormM
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
Pickpick

#BookerLonglist2021 book 11

Wow for a debut novel this really packs a punch.

Parts of this are too violent and tragic to make it an enjoyable read but I did appreciate it.

Landry and Prentiss will stay with me and we could all learn a thing or 2 from George and Isabelle.

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charl08
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris

The notion of true emancipation had always seemed so fantastical that, were it to occur, Prentiss had expected the heralds of a bugle, rows of men in lockstep who would descend upon Majesty's Palace like angels brought down to serve the aims of God himself. In the actual event it was nothing but a few young men in blue uniforms as scraggy as the clothes that Prentiss and Landry had on themselves.

30 likes1 stack add
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perfectlywinged
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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Pickpick

The writing is absolutely beautiful

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Brimful
The Sweetness of Water | Nathan Harris
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The next book in my alphabetical read of the Booker long list. 100 pages in and it‘s a strong read with powerful characters. It shares with The Promise a concern that a shift to a more just social order does not in itself eradicate longstanding racial injustices.