All the Water in the World

Karen Raney. Scribner, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-1-982108-69-4
Raney’s ardent debut examines love and loss through the eyes of Maddy, a vibrant 16-year-old girl diagnosed with cancer, and Eve, her loving mother. Maddy is spending the summer recovering from chemotherapy at her family’s lake house in Pennsylvania. While her thoughts often turn to normal adolescent concerns—such as her summer reading assignments and her crush—they are also studded with existential worries as she contemplates death, the existence of God, and the ephemerality of nature. Maddy begins to think about her father, who separated amicably from her mother before she was born, and decides she must get to know him before she dies. Over her final summer, Maddy and her father begin an epistolary friendship and bond over their mutual love of nature and advocacy for environmental protections. Reading the correspondence is painful for Eve when she later finds the letters. Eve, struggling to process everything, begins to spend long hours at the lake talking with her neighbor Norma. The book is broken into three sections, and is at its strongest when Maddy’s naive, searching voice narrates the story, which is effused with a passion for life and nature. However, the novel’s final section loses momentum, tapering off into Eve’s self-examination and excavation of the past. Raney’s pleasing tale is a deep, genuine investigation of memory, the pain of loss, and the strength of a mother’s love. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 04/29/2019
Release date: 08/06/2019
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 978-1-982108-70-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-8666-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-8668-4
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X