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THE COVENANT OF WATER
THE COVENANT OF WATER

An sensational and immersive epic read by the much loved Den writer, Abraham Verghese, famed for his book club favourite novel, ‘Cutting for Stone’.

- best book club reads - 

Readability

★★★★★★★★✰✰

Talkability

★★★★★★★★✰✰

Den scores

★★★★★★★★★✰

THE COVENANT OF WATER

BY ABRAHAM VERGHESE

715 pages

‘The Covenant of Water’ is a sensational and immersive epic read by the much loved Den writer, Abraham Verghese, famed for his book club favourite novel, ‘Cutting for Stone’. With over 700 pages this is a perfect summertime read and a wonderful and informative journey to the changing back waters of South India.

Set in Kerala, this is a generational story starting in 1900 with a 12 year old girl who finds herself travelling within the state to marry a widowed 40 year old father. The child bride, whose marriage is brokered, learns to live with her new family on its working farm estate and soon becomes a respected matriarch, known as ‘Big Ammachi’. Ammachi bears witness to unimaginable changes in her life spanning three generations of heartache, secrets and drama in which a ‘condition’ results in a ‘drowning’ in every generation. Running alongside this story the reader is introduced to a young Scottish physician who arrives in colonial India to make his mark in Kerala. The two stories run alongside each other and eventually converge as the characters experience chance meetings adding heightened drama to the gripping plot that is rooted in the family’s secret. The author’s medical credentials (Verghese is an American physician) adds an informed perspective of the medical mysteries that were yet to be explained and discovered with the passage of time and medical advances.

Readers may criticise the length of the novel which is all consuming but in many ways the length gives us the opportunity to experience the sense of being pulled into the currents of life and imagine being a part of a family saga and drama that we want to discover and solve. Many in the Den appreciated the idea of a family curse - everyone feels they have one! We all appreciated the ebb and flow of events, recognising disappointments, experiencing and overcoming tragedy, finding love and hope in medical discoveries and cures.

A paperback worth finding space on your travels or at home!

- for people who love books - 

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