my apologies for not posting sooner
Abraham Verghese (2023). The Covenant of Water [Audible]. Narrated by the author.
Verghese’s novel is a long and winding path through multiple generations, locations, and stories. I knew he would eventually bring them all together, but the meandering route was often as twisting as the river systems of southern India. While the words “covenant of water” appear in the text, water’s role as the giver and taker of life seem secondary or even tertiary. More dominant roles included medicine, tradition, colliding cultures, generational trauma, and secrets. Water was a source of fear for many characters who shared a common “condition,” but it didn’t always connect characters or storylines.
Listening to the book is probably harder than reading it. There are many different threads that seem unrelated until the last few chapters that being able to go back and refer to earlier sections would have been helpful. There are also drawings in the book that are available on Verghese’s website, but seeing them in context might be a better option.
It is a good read, especially when completed. Once all the stories unite, it’s nice to trace back each thread of the narrative tapestry. It’s a tangled mess in the middle, but when complete, everything makes sense.
Bonnie Garmus (2022) Lessons in Chemistry [Audible]. Narrated by Miranda Raison, Bonnie Garmus, & Pandora Sykes. Random House Audio
I understand why this is a popular book club selection. It features strong women, relevant themes, and poignant backstories. It has been picked up by Apple TV as a series that I won’t watch (sorry, fans.) It isn’t a terrible book. It’s well written and many of the characters are almost believable. The descriptions of rowing and rowers are spot on, which makes sense because the author is a rower.
So, why am I not raving about it like everyone else seems to be doing? Part of the…