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The Covenant of Water (2023)

Tekijä: Abraham Verghese

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,5157412,010 (4.38)125
"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"--… (lisätietoja)
  1. 10
    Joutavuuksien jumala (tekijä: Arundhati Roy) (charlie68)
    charlie68: A shorter work with similar themes of playfulness with the language or languages and humor.
  2. 10
    Sadan vuoden yksinäisyys (tekijä: Gabriel Garcia Marquez) (aprille)
  3. 00
    The Henna Artist (tekijä: Alka Joshi) (Dariah)
  4. 00
    The Hungry Tide (tekijä: Amitav Ghosh) (Dariah)
  5. 00
    The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (tekijä: Honorée Fanonne Jeffers) (aprille)
  6. 00
    Taivasten valtakunnan avaimet (tekijä: A. J. Cronin) (charlie68)
    charlie68: Similar themes
  7. 00
    Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal (tekijä: Karl Schonborn) (charlie68)
    charlie68: Also similar themes, with thorough trips to the operating room.
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» Katso myös 125 mainintaa

Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 72) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
A beautiful book with a lot of tragedies. Just like life, I guess. ( )
  AngelClaw | May 11, 2024 |
I know this will be an unpopular rating - only 3 stars - but I'm so glad I'm finally finished with this. I don't shy away from long books, as long as they're good. Covenant of Water, although the writing is very good, was simply too long and could as well have been told in 500 pages instead of the 700 . The author went off on descriptive tangents that didn't need to be told and didn't add to the narrative. Sorry Mr. Verghese. ( )
  milbourt | May 11, 2024 |
Lovely story, good writing. Interesting and believable characters. Didn't fill me with passion but still looked forward to reading it every night. ( )
  RaynaPolsky | May 11, 2024 |
Yes it's long- but the life of this family is told with such evocative detail, starting with the matriarch as a 13 yr old bride and continuing into the lives of her children, friends and granddaughter - amazing in its ability to draw you into each character's life & thoughts, with straightforward prose and a sympathetic tone; I want to go to southwestern India now! ( )
  BDartnall | May 1, 2024 |
The Covenant of Water, Abraham Verghese, author and narrator When I finished this book, I was of two minds. One was relief, because after 31 hours of the audio, I could not believe it had ended. The other was disappointment that it was over. I wanted it to go on and on. It was one of the best books I have read in a long time and the author read it with aplomb. Beginning in the early 1900’s, the reader is taken to a remote village in India called Parambil, and is introduced to the marriage of a young girl, not quite a teenager. She is being married off to a man who is almost three decades older, but she is supposed to be happy about the fortuitous match. Big Appachen, as he is called, is a widower. His first wife has died and his two-year-old child needs a mother. Thus, he needs another bride. He cannot believe that his sister arranged such a marriage, with someone who is just a child herself, but she convinces him to go through with it. Although he is kind to his new bride, he keeps his distance for many years. Still, this child, Mariamma, becomes a wonderful mother to his son Jo Jo, and eventually, she becomes a wonderful wife, as well. Jo Jo is terrified of water, a sure sign of the secret affliction the family carries. Will he suffer the consequences, as does someone in every generation? As time passes, Mariamma bears her own child, Baby Mol. She will never grow up mentally, for she is a victim of cretinism. When Mariamma was pregnant, she experienced excruciating premature contractions. She was taken to a Scotsman, Dr. Digby Kildour, a compassionate and skilled surgeon. He advised her that her body is just preparing for the birth of the child and does not alter the course of her pregnancy. It was at that time that Elsie, whose father was driving Dr. Kildour, meets him for the first time. A discussion about their hands ensues. It is a foreshadowing of many events to come. Miriamma eventually has a second child who seems quite healthy. Big Appachen insists that the boy, Phillipose, be permitted to climb, run and live, in the way that Big Appachen, as a boy, was forbidden to live. Phillipose is the hero of the community as he is bright and qualifies for an advanced education. Unfortunately, he has a hearing loss and is forced to discontinue his studies. He becomes a journalist instead, writing a column called “The Ordinary Man”. Is Phillipose suffering from the family “condition. Is he an ordinary man? The reader learns that this Dr. Digby Kildour has an unfortunate love affair with Celeste Arnold, the wife of Dr. Claude Arnold, the unfit doctor who is his superior. When Celeste dies in a fire that gravely injures Digby, he is secretly taken to Dr. Rune Orquist, a Swedish doctor who has decided to devote the rest of his life to the creation of a Leprosarium. Rune is an accomplished surgeon, skilled in restoring some function to some of the lepers, and he is able to somewhat restore the use of Digby’s hands, but not to their former prowess. He will not be able to do complicated surgeries again. At some later date, Elsie aids in Digby’s recovery by placing her hands over his. She guides his hands and shows him he can still use them to do some less sophisticated surgeries. Phillipose and Elsie married. A student and an accomplished artist, she married him when he promised to let her develop her skill and continue to produce art. Did he fulfill his promise? After the tragic and unexpected death of their only child, a son Ninan, at the hands of a tree that Phillipose treasured and so didn’t cut down, although he had promised to do so, both are overcome with anger at each other and grief. She is taken to Gwendolyn Gardens by dear friends to recover. There, she meets Digby again and a deep friendship begins. Phillipose, meanwhile, is using opium to excess, to soothe his pain. When Elsie does not return, he becomes addicted to it. During her absence, Big Ammachi kept writing to Elsie. When Baby Mol became ill, she felt obligated to return to Parambil. During that time, she discovers she is pregnant again and her daughter is born. She names the child Mariamma, after Big Ammachi. Shortly after the birth, however, Elsie disappeared and was presumed drowned. The child, Mariamma, is raised by her grandmother with the same name. Mariamma grows up to become good friends with Yelin. Shamuel is Big Appachen’s dearest friend. Joppan, his son, is Phillipose’s dearest friend. Now Mariamma is his son Yelin’s dearest friend, so the circle is complete. Because of their different stations in life, due to the unfair caste system, they are not afforded the same benefits in life, but they are still devoted to each other, helping each other whenever they can. Yelin becomes a revolutionary, a Naxalite, a Marxist fighting for the Communist cause in India. Mariamma does not support him in this effort, but the world is changing and they part. When Big Appachen died, Mariamma was called Big Amacchi and her name was lost to her. As the book follows her for about seven decades, the reader learns about the Caste System and the history of India regarding medicine and civil rights, including the advancements made. As it reveals what is considered a family curse, a genetic flaw is discovered that brings tragedy to every generation, but it may be able to be remediated as medicine advances. This story is told with tenderness and read with such a tender voice that it is impossible not to be drawn into it and to become captivated. Although, at first, it is really hard to keep track of the characters, because there are so many and the names are so unfamiliar, the author takes the storyline back and forth in time and then reunites it with each character, so their connections are revealed, albeit very slowly and carefully and with great detail. I hope I have recorded it correctly, since I have had to rewrite and correct it several times. The timelines and the places the novel takes the reader are richly described. The reader is taken to the schoolhouse with the characters and witnesses the shame of those not allowed to be educated. The reader witnesses the exhaustive medical training, the abusive treatment of young women, and also the lack of respect for widows. The reader sees the terrible way that the disabled are treated, especially those in the leprosarium. The caste system is alive and well in the early days of the 1900’s and it is ugly to witness. One hopes today there are few remnants left. Stone statues without heads, disfigured hands, disease and disability, medicine in India, the Caste system, complicated relationships, arranged marriages, inheritances, racism, injustice, are coupled with humor, kindness, true love and passion. It is infused with imagination, magic, legends and creativity. Who is Mariamma’s godfather? Why did Phillipose die? What secret did he wish to reveal? What is the significance of the tree, the beheaded statues, the hands? Why were so many of the family members, mainly men, afraid of water? Were all the deaths really related? What is finally discovered to be the real cause of “The Condition? Who helped to discover it? Verghese draws upon his background and medical training for this novel. Still, he sought the help of many talented and well-trained people so that he knits this story together with deep research into a magnificent piece of cloth with all the raised questions ultimately answered. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Apr 28, 2024 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 72) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
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Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
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Tärkeät paikat
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Tärkeät tapahtumat
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Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
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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
Omistuskirjoitus
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For Mariam Verghese

In Memoriam
Ensimmäiset sanat
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She is twelve years old, and she will be married in the morning.
Sitaatit
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We don't have children to fulfill our dreams. Children allow us to let go of the dreams we were never meant to fulfill.
Viimeiset sanat
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(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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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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