The Covenant of Water

Recorded Books. May 2023. 31:16 hrs. ISBN 9781705070246. $34.99. F
Three generations of an Indian family living in Kerala carry the heavy burden of an unknowable secret—one person in each generation dies by drowning, even in the shallowest of water. Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, the story follows family members through their lives, seamlessly interweaving details about the myriad industrial and political changes that transformed the country during this time. A lyrical, mesmerizing tale, Verghese’s (Cutting for Stone) much-anticipated work displays humanity at its best and worst, from addiction and illness to love, art, and beauty. At its heart, the story is about family, both chosen and blood, and the great gifts and burdens bestowed in the name of love. Verghese’s prodigious talents as an author are mirrored by his skill as a narrator. Raised by parents who hailed from Kerala, his native accent and pronunciation breathe life into this story, imbuing his characters with depth and a full range of emotions.
VERDICT Verghese’s narration pairs perfectly with his exquisite prose, creating a not-to-be-missed audio experience. This Oprah’s Book Club pick is an essential purchase for all collections.
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