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The Covenant of Water
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
19 posts | 8 read | 1 reading | 38 to read
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, and 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. It is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years.
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review
Cinfhen
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

It‘s no secret that I fear #BIGbooks but I was willing to put aside my #PageCountPhobia and tackle this beast - SO GLAD! From the first line until the final page I was swept up in this multigenerational tale of love, faith, family, secrets, science, religion, chance and destiny. Outstanding storytelling and incredible amount of detail and vivid imagery. My love affair with India continues. Definitely a favorite read of 2023♥️🙌🏻

TrishB Ohhhh I have a (d0 Waterstones card burning a hole in my purse- I think this may be it! 21h
Cinfhen It‘s a gorgeous book @trishb (edited) 21h
squirrelbrain I think I‘ll treat myself to this one soon too. 20h
See All 12 Comments
Cinfhen I think it‘s the type of book that deserves to be owned in hardcover @squirrelbrain - I actually enjoyed the feel of reading this behemoth 😁 20h
jlhammar Great review! I have a feeling this will be among my top reads of the year as well. Really loving it. 20h
Cuilin Sounds so good!!!!! Really looking forward to this read. 19h
BarbaraBB Thanks Cindy! Such a convincing review! 19h
DivineDiana Looking forward to this one! ❤️ 19h
LeeRHarry I let my NetGalley ARC lapse for this one - big sad 😔 but I‘ll definitely pick it up at some point 😊 14h
Cinfhen I think reading in print as opposed to a digital copy might be easier @LeeRHarry - so don‘t be sad😉it‘s a lovely read and I can‘t wait to hear what ya‘ll think @DivineDiana @BarbaraBB @Cuilin @jlhammar 💕💕💕 12h
TrishB It seems I ordered it last night after a couple of glasses of wine 😁 oh well. 9h
Cinfhen Hahaha 🥂 @TrishB well done 8h
79 likes8 stack adds12 comments
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KatieB
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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It‘s going to be a great summer- here is my #14books14weeks2023 stack! These are all books from my own shelves that I was so excited by when I first bought and I don‘t want them to hang around and for that excitement to wear off. My summer of reading will probably start with Lessons in Chemistry but I need to finish the tag booked first. I‘m excited to spend another day in Verghese‘s world but sad it‘s going to be the last day.

Tamra What a terrific stack! Black Butterflies has been my favorite read this year. 1d
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Lessons in Chemistry is awesome 🧡 1d
KatieB Thanks @Tamra and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ! Makes me even more excited about my stack! 💛 23h
TheHeartlandBookFairy Awesome stack, Thanks for joining us! Happy summer, happy reading 😎📚 21h
16 likes4 comments
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RebelReader
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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I‘m already predicting that CoV will be my book of 2023. It‘s gonna take quite a book to beat it in my mind.

Tamra Wow, can‘t wait to read. I‘m trying to hold out for the paperback. 😅 1d
RebelReader @Tamra I was first on the library hold list because I requested it before Oprah announced it as her pick. I was super lucky! 1d
47 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Mccall0113
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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This doesn‘t suck! #vacation

Cinfhen I‘m on page 597 and I‘m speechless! This book is SOOOOOOO GOOD 2d
Tamra I‘m so happy to read great reviews because obviously it‘s a time investment! 2d
SG2014 I‘ve heard really great things about this book! 1d
76 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Amiable
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

A sprawling multigenerational novel that begins with Big Ammachi and ends three-quarters of a century later with her grandchild. Open it, read the sobering first sentence (“She is twelve years old, and she will be married in the morning”) and just fall into the pages. Verghese is a master of storytelling.

With a hardcover page count of 724, this checks off the Chunkster Mini category for #chunksterchallenge2023

Bookwormjillk I can‘t wait to read this one! 6d
Tamra Oh, I didn‘t realize it was that long! 6d
Amiable @Tamra When I opened the e-book borrow from Hoopla, it registered as 932 pages —so the digital version is even longer! 😳 But I go by the hardcover page count for calculations. 6d
jlhammar Wonderful review! Hoping to finish this one over the coming weekend. So good! 6d
72 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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Cinfhen
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Yay!!!! My copy FINALLY arrived! I don‘t think I‘ll be able to resist it‘s pull @Cuilin

jenniferw88 I saw this in my indie bookshop yesterday - it's a real #chunkster! 6d
TrishB Just tempted by this online shopping at the moment…. 6d
Cinfhen It‘s MASSIVE @jenniferw88 @TrishB 😅 6d
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Cuilin Oh I understand completely. I‘m tempted too and there‘s nothing like mood reading. I haven‘t purchased it yet so I‘ll hold off for now as it‘s not exactly travel friendly. 6d
Cinfhen Definitely not a book to shlep around @Cuilin 😇 6d
RebelReader It‘s quite worth the heft! 💪💪💪 6d
Cinfhen I‘m excited @RebelReader 6d
Suet624 Purchased this one too. Hoping I actually get to reading it within the next year. 🤪 6d
Cinfhen I‘m slightly nervous because I‘m afraid it might not meet my expectations @Suet624 6d
Suet624 @Cinfhen yeah, me to. 🤞🏻 6d
jlhammar I'm 300 pages in and I think it's wonderful so far (and I loved Cutting for Stone). I've been taking my time with it, but hope to finish by the end of the month. Hope you enjoy! 6d
Cinfhen I‘ve only seen positive reviews and we generally agree on most books @jlhammar so your endorsement gives me hope😁 6d
BarbaraBB A new Verghese! I didn‘t know! 6d
Megabooks I‘m thinking of picking up a signed copy at Parnassus! 6d
Cinfhen Ohhhhh, a signed copy sounds fab @Megabooks when are you going to Parnassus ???? I‘m so jealous xx 6d
86 likes1 stack add15 comments
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Morton7
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

Great Author !

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RebelReader
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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This is my idea of heaven…..a beautiful morning with the birds singing and me and a book soooo good. I‘m 300 pages in (almost halfway and I already give it 5 stars!). Happy Sunday Littens! I haven‘t cut the hangers off my plants yet but I will after I finish this book! 🤪

monalyisha What bliss! 1w
Mollyanna That looks wonderful 😊 1w
Tamra I was saying to friends yesterday we pay for this kind of weather 10 months out of the year. Perfection! Enjoy the day! ☀️ 1w
jlhammar Beautifu! Loving this book so far. 1w
RebelReader @Tamra. That‘s so true! We have a savor every minute! 1w
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Sara_Planz
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Pickpick

While it has been over a decade since Verghese‘s last novel, his mastery of the written world has not lost any of its power and impact. This novel completely consumed me, and I felt I could see every scene in great detail due to Verghese‘s remarkable storytelling ability, from the teakwood in the house, the amazing scenery of Parambil, to the rains of the monsoon. The interweaving of the various stories of the family members was flawless!

jlhammar Beautiful photo and review. I've been taking my time with this one because I don't want it to end! 1w
Sara_Planz @jlhammar I felt the same way. So beautifully written. 1w
Megabooks Great review! 1w
38 likes3 comments
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jlhammar
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Until now, the measure of years at Parambil has been Easter and Christmas, births and deaths, floods and drought. But 1933 is the year of Moby-Dick. Halfway through the book, Big Ammachi wants Philipose to ask Koshy Saar if this Moby-Dick isn‘t all made up. “It‘s entertaining. But isn‘t it one big lie? Ask him.”
Koshy Saar‘s response is indignant. “It‘s fiction! Fiction is the great lie that tells the truth about how the world lives!”

52 likes2 stack adds
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RebelReader
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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She is twelve years old, and she will be married in the morning.
#Firstlinefridays

Amiable I‘m reading this right now, too! I‘m about 70% done. It‘s so good. 1w
RebelReader @Amiable I‘m only 130 pgs in, but I‘m so hooked! I loved Cutting for Stone too. 1w
Amiable @RebelReader I loved that one too, but my absolute favorite of his is this nonfiction book—it‘s phenomenal: 1w
32 likes3 comments
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Suet624
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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The last 3 days I was in Bath, Maine looking at the ocean, seals, birds, cute puppies and bookstores. I went into Sherman‘s Bookstore, a wonderful store that I thought was an independent bookstore in Falmouth. Looking at the map though it seems Sherman‘s have a number of stores in Maine. Check them out if you‘re traveling through the area. Of course I had to buy the most expensive hardcover they had because you can‘t leave empty handed.

LeahBergen It sounds like you‘ve had a lovely time! 2w
Suet624 @LeahBergen thanks! I did! I have friends in Maine who always make sure I come to play. 2w
jlhammar Great choice! I‘m about a third of the way through and it is so very good. 2w
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Suet624 @jlhammar I‘m so glad to hear you‘re enjoying it. 2w
Amiable I‘m reading this now, too —about 65% in! It‘s really good. 2w
Suet624 @Amiable oh good! 2w
BarbaraBB Sounds like wonderful and relaxed days 💕 1w
Suet624 @BarbaraBB i don‘t travel as much as you do so it‘s always good when I push myself to go to other locations. 😊 1w
Billypar Sounds like an amazing trip. And so cool that there's a statewide bookstore chain - not something you see very often! 1w
Suet624 @Billypar You‘re right! Vermont has Phoenix Bookstores which has three locations and I‘m always surprised, considering how many independent bookstores we have, that they can support three stores. 1w
vivastory Sounds like a wonderful time. When I first started reading your post I thought you were in the UK lol. My cousin went to Bath for several days a year ago & when he returned I asked what he did & he talked about going to a bunch of pubs. I asked if he even went to the Jane Austen Centre & he said no. 1w
Suet624 @vivastory haha. The UK! I wish. 😀 1w
63 likes1 stack add12 comments
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Karisimo
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

Loved this new one from Abraham Verghese! Maybe even more than Cutting for Stone! A multigenerational saga of a family in India. I loved both the family and the side characters. It was well-worth it to spend awhile in their corner of the world. Highly recommend!

#chunkstermini
#chunksterchallenge2023
@amiable

Amiable I‘m reading this right now! About 65% through it . It‘s so good! 2w
AmyG Oh wow….more than Cutting for Stone? I am excited for the group read…in Sept I think. (edited) 2w
32 likes2 comments
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Mccall0113
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Never have I ever been the first to borrow a particular book from my local library!

IuliaC That's a nice feeling, it happened to me once as well 😃 3w
Ruthiella Yahoo! 🥳 3w
Kangaj1 I got mine in the mail today! 3w
62 likes1 stack add3 comments
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jlhammar
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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“She is twelve years old, and she will be married in the morning.”

#FirstLineFridays

JamieArc I‘m looking forward to reviews about this one! Happy Reading 😊 3w
Karisimo I started this one today too! 3w
Tamra Anxious to read this! 3w
See All 6 Comments
BookBosomed1 I want to read this one! 3w
DrexEdit Oooo! I am looking forward to this one! 😊 3w
Parvez omg!!! Malayalam “Kezhekketha“. 3w
57 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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Cuilin
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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I‘ve too many reading plans to add this in right now. I‘m planning a buddy read after CampLitsy23 for all who want to join in for the eagerly awaited novel by the author of Cutting for Stone. Tagging some , all are welcome. Say September 1st?

@Cinfhen @AmyG @Sapphire @Deblovestoread @Bookwormjillk @squirrelbrain @dabbe @batsy @IndoorDame @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @Eggs @Cathythoughts @LeeRHarry @Mitch @AllDebooks @jenniferw88

AllDebooks Ooooh, that looks so good. Count me in! 4w
Cinfhen Yay! I‘ll plan to join for September- thanks for the tag 4w
AmyG Perfect! I have too much to read now, too! Thank you. 4w
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IndoorDame I‘ve been feeling like I‘m not leaving myself enough time for mood reading so I‘m trying not to join more stuff, but this looks fabulous, so I‘m looking forward to seeing what you all think! 4w
Currey Can you add me to the September read? I loved Cutting for Stone 4w
Bookwormjillk I‘ll probably read it this month but would love to be part of your discussion in September if you don‘t mind. 4w
Eggs Thanks for thinking of me🥰 4w
Cuilin @IndoorDame I totally understand that 👍 4w
Cuilin @AllDebooks wonderful 4w
Cuilin @AmyG 👍 4w
Cuilin @Currey absolutely 👍 4w
Cuilin @Bookwormjillk of course 👍 4w
Cuilin @Cinfhen Fantastic 4w
Deblovestoread September sounds perfect! 4w
squirrelbrain Leave me on the tag list for now, but I may be away for some of September; I‘ll join if I can though! 4w
dabbe September sounds great! 💙💚💙 4w
Cuilin @dabbe wonderful 4w
Sapphire I am in for September. Thanks! Looking forward to this one. 4w
Cuilin @Sapphire 👍 me too. 4w
Eggs Thank you for thinking of me 💞 4w
Cuilin @Eggs you‘re welcome 4w
Mitch I‘m up for this one 👍🏼 2d
Cuilin @Mitch wonderful 2d
48 likes1 stack add23 comments
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Cuilin
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Question for all who are interested in this buddy read. So the much anticipated new novel from Abraham Verghese is due out May 2/3 do we read before CampLitsy23 starts or after? Tagging those who said they were interested but open to all.

Bookwormjillk Before might be better but either works 1mo
AmyG Whatever is decided. 1mo
Sapphire Was it selected for Camp Litsy? Or are we just coordinating for bandwidth? 1mo
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squirrelbrain It‘s not out until 18th May in the UK (although it‘s on Audible now). I probably won‘t have time to read it before camp, but don‘t let that stop you, as I might not have time afterwards either. 🤣 1mo
squirrelbrain @Sapphire - it didn‘t make the #camplitsy23 long list as it‘s too long for a 2 week read (over 700 pages I think!) 1mo
LeeRHarry I have an ARC so will need to read it next month before it expires for me on NetGalley, which I don‘t think I use efficiently because I‘m always losing access to books on there 🤷🏼‍♀️ (edited) 1mo
Deblovestoread I‘m fine either way. 1mo
Cinfhen I won‘t be able to get my physical copy until I get to the states - May 31. So feel free to read without me. I might try audio, but not sure if it‘s the right back for that medium 🤷🏼‍♀️ 1mo
45 likes1 stack add8 comments
review
Mel
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

A beautiful family saga starting with a young girl married off to a widower with a strange affliction to water in a remote part of Kerala, India. This book covers almost 80 years following the family through happiness and sadness, love and loss, death and birth. Yes, the book is very long but honestly I would have read another 700 pages to stay with this family!
#NetGalley #GroveAtlantic #thecovenantofwater

Tamra That‘s how I felt with 1mo
17 likes1 comment
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Tkimsal
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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I was excited to learn today Abraham Verghese‘s new novel is finally being released in May. His last novel, “Cutting for Stone,” was a favorite of mine. Now, after 14 years, his next is almost here.

Reggie I haven‘t read Cutting for Stone but his first 2 memoirs about being a Dr. in rural Tennessee during the AIDS epidemic and the one about being in El Paso with a friend who succumbs to addiction are books I still think about to this day. 2mo
Tkimsal I will check them out! 2mo
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