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The Covenant of Water
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The Covenant of Water (2023)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,4376612,792 (4.38)120
"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, 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. Imbued with humor, deep emotion, and the essence of life, it is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years"--… (mais)
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The Covenant of Water por Abraham Verghese (2023)

  1. 10
    The God of Small Things por Arundhati Roy (charlie68)
    charlie68: A shorter work with similar themes of playfulness with the language or languages and humor.
  2. 10
    Cem anos de solidão por Gabriel Garcia Marquez (aprille)
  3. 00
    The Henna Artist por Alka Joshi (Dariah)
  4. 00
    The Hungry Tide por Amitav Ghosh (Dariah)
  5. 00
    The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois por Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (aprille)
  6. 00
    The Keys of the Kingdom por A. J. Cronin (charlie68)
    charlie68: Similar themes
  7. 00
    Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal por Karl Schonborn (charlie68)
    charlie68: Also similar themes, with thorough trips to the operating room.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 65 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I'm very ambivalent about this novel. It is a generational saga that I feel has great potential. There are some great mini-stories contained within. However, it is meandering and overly long. There are 1-2 chapters which are of great interest and I was getting invested in the story, when the next two chapters introduced a new character in a new setting and we don't get back to the original story for 200 more pages. Disjointed, but at times brilliantly engaging. 727 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Apr 12, 2024 |
The Covenant of Water by Abraham Veghese, has touched my soul.
I read this novel from sunrise to midnight over multiple days. The author’s cadence of storytelling pulled me (the reader) along through generations of a family saga. The writing is so beautiful with literary passages artistically threaded together in unexpected ways.

The Covenant of Water is in a different league, and for anyone harboring aspirations of authorship, it will humble you and remind you that there are many levels to writing, and there are certain levels that are simply unobtainable for all but a few. It's the type of book that illustrates an author operating at the apex of his craft, where all of his skills around writing, planning, dialogue, structure, and research come together to create something beautiful. Go in with eyes wide open -- -- but trust that the payoff at the end is worth the journey.

There is a passage in the book in which Verghese writes the following:
"And now (she) is here, standing in the water that connects them all in time and space and always has. The water she first stepped in minutes ago is long gone and yet it is here, past and present and future inexorably coupled, like time made incarnate. This is the covenant of water: that they're all linked by their acts of commission and omission, and no one stands alone."

One reviewer wrote:
714 pages, The Covenant of Water, is a commitment. It's long, it's dense, it's heartbreaking more often than it's not, has humor, and with every new character introduced, I found myself wondering where are the stories going and how it might end. But it's also beautifully rendered, meticulously researched, and a tour de force.

The novel spans almost 80 years and takes place primarily in southern India. The story opens in 1900 with the arranged wedding of a 12-year-old girl to a much older man. Following their strained and awkward nuptials, he brings her to his home called Parambil, around which a community has developed. As she begins to learn how to be a wife to her husband, and the awkwardness between them begins to thaw as she grows older, she also comes to learn of her husband's genealogy, and the repeated tragedy that afflicted many of his ancestors. The girl -- who by now has become a young woman and is known as "Big Ammachi" -- comes to refer to it as The Condition, whereby an unnatural number of ancestors in her husband's lineage have had an aversion to water and several have died in what would typically be avoidable circumstances involving water.
While The Condition crops up as a through line over the course the novel, the book is less about that mysterious affliction than it is a multi-generational character study of a family and the people who move in their circles. The novel flows like a river, with detailed scenes and character development intertwining. The reader, meanwhile, is left to be carried along like an oarless boat upon that river. I will admit that I got frustrated at times with the book. Even by the halfway point, it felt like plenty of story had been told and it was time to wrap things up, yet nearly 400 additional pages still awaited me. What more needs to be told? How will this end?
Shame on me for doubting Verghese or his intentions, and for presuming these seemingly disconnected passages wouldn't eventually find one another to complete the puzzle. While I was being carried along the river, Verghese was weaving a complex tapestry around me. Every character and story in the meandering novel had a purpose, and all of that intention is pulled together and made clear during the final 150 (or so) pages. Verghese honors the passage above, and like the water he references, he beautifully ties together the strands of his story. ( )
  artheart | Apr 7, 2024 |
This book is set in India, and follows the interconnected stories of one particular family over several generations, and a Scottish doctor who comes to practice medicine in India and his friends and colleagues. The family is plagued by a weird curse: they are prone to drowning. This seems like it must be superstition, but a few people in the family devote their lives to understanding this malady and the medical reasons behind it.

Verghese is a doctor, and like his previous novel, this book is full of very detailed descriptions of surgeries, medical procedures, and medical problems. Normally I would find this tedious, but Verghese has such a clear passion for medicine that comes through in his writing, which makes the reader also care deeply about the intricacies of medical procedures and the thrill of understanding and solving medical problems.

There are a lot of characters in the book, and all of them have vivid and distinct personalities. They are all, at heart, good people who genuinely care about each other, even if some of them mess up sometimes. It is heartwarning to read about these people.

Verghese manages to pull a lot of disparate threads together into a coherent whole, and to create a lot of mysteries, medical and personal, with satisfying conclusions. ( )
  Gwendydd | Apr 7, 2024 |
Couldn't finish. Well written, but wouldn't hold my interest. I gave up halfway. ( )
  vickiv | Apr 2, 2024 |
I loved the parts which took place in Parambil, which seemed magical to me. The characters were vivid as was the landscape and way of life. The weakest portions were the love affairs which is why I didn't rate it at 5. ( )
  ccayne | Mar 22, 2024 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 65 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Water affects a family’s fate in this enthralling epic from the physician-author, set across three generations...This is a novel – a splendid, enthralling one – about the body, about what characters inherit and what makes itself felt upon them. It is the body that contains ambiguities and mysteries. As in his international bestseller Cutting for Stone, Verghese’s medical knowledge and his mesmerising attention to detail combine to create breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat scenes of survival and medical procedures that are difficult to forget. Tenderness permeates every page, at the same time as he is ruthless with the many ways his characters are made vulnerable by simply being alive....The Covenant of Water contains a larger question of community and belonging, one that feels most important in these days of escalating political wars and tensions: is it possible to be fragile and wounded, and still necessary and loved? The answer is rendered with care by a writer who looks at the world with a doctor’s knowing, merciful gaze. As much as any moral reckoning or catastrophic plot point, this is why literature, in all its comforting and challenging forms, matters.
 
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And a river went out of Eden to water the garden. --Genesis 2:10
Not hammer-strokes, but dance of the water, sings the pebbles into perfection. --Rabindranath Tagore
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She is twelve years old, and she will be married in the morning.
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"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, 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. Imbued with humor, deep emotion, and the essence of life, it is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years"--

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