An amazing, award-winning speculative fiction debut novel by a major new talent, in the vein of Ursula K. Le Guin Global warming has changed the world's geography and its politics. Wars are waged over water, and China rules Europe, including the Scandinavian Union, which is occupied by the power state of New Qian. In this far north place, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio is learning to become a tea master like her father, a position that holds great responsibility and great secrets. Tea masters alone know the location of hidden water sources, including the natural spring that Noria's father tends, which once provided water for her whole village. But secrets do not stay hidden forever, and after her father's death the army starts watching their town-and Noria. And as water becomes even scarcer, Noria must choose between safety and striking out, between knowledge and kinship. Imaginative and engaging, lyrical and poignant, Memory of Water is an indelible novel that portrays a future that is all too possible.
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I expected MEMORY OF WATER to be as action-packed as the other dystopian novels I've read before. What I got was a character-driven novel that makes the reader think and question what we do with this Earth.
The writing itself mirrors water in a way. It flows from description to description with beautiful imagery. The prose is lyrical and slow, letting readers take their time and really savor this horrifying world.
If you're expecting a happy ending, look elsewhere. This novel doesn't shy away from the harshness of a world of deprivation. People do terrible things for both the right and wrong reasons. Though hopelessness is seeded throughout, glimmers of hope and possibility remain.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Though the writing is beautiful, there was a lot of repetition. Because the novel is so short, this becomes even more obvious.
The Final Verdict:
MEMORY OF WATER is a quiet, thoughtful novel about the perils of greed and the hope to make something more from your life.