Water Witches

Chris A. Bohjalian, Author, Pratt, Author University Press of New England $40 (351p) ISBN 978-0-87451-687-6
In a moving, life-affirming novel suffused with ecological wisdom, a Vermont ski resort's plans for expansion collide with environmentalists seeking to preserve a mountainous wildlife habitat and riverine ecosystem. Narrator Scott Winston, a transplanted New York City lawyer who represents the ski resort, switches allegiance after he and his nine-year-old daughter spot three mountain lions in an area targeted for clearing. Complicating matters is the envy that Scott's pragmatic wife, Laura, a native Vermonter, feels toward her famed sister, Patience Avery, a dowser (water witch) who also opposes the ski resort and whose talent for locating underground springs, missing persons or lost objects with a divining rod figures prominently in the novel's denouement. The struggle between the developers and their opponents culminates in an environmental board hearing that has all the dramatic excitement of a courtroom trial. With wit, insight and mordant irony, Bohjalian (Past the Bleachers) charts Scott's metamorphosis from rationalistic materialist and skeptic to one who believes in higher powers and the interconnectedness of all life. In a refreshing twist, instead of offering a bucolic idyll, the author takes us through a Vermont beset by drought, a declining ski industry, unemployment and endangered ecosystems. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1995
Release date: 02/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4516-1848-8
Ebook - 351 pages - 978-1-58465-873-3
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-684-82612-7
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-593-08178-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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