Customer Reviews for

The Water Is Wide

Average Rating 4
( 61 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 4
  • Posted January 3, 2011

    Master Storytelling

    First of all, I need to say that Pat Conroy is my favorite author. His writing is so full of wit, honesty, intellligence and a genuine love of the English language.

    The Water is Wide is based on the year that Mr. Conroy spent teaching isolated, impoverished African-American children on an island off of South Carolina. He brings these wonderful children to life with his marvelous gift for storytelling. The children felt very real to me and I think Mr. Conroy did a terrific job with their dialogue. It's fascinating to see how much he and the children learn from each other through the course of the year. Working in a school office myself, I found Mr. Conroy's struggles and frustrations with the administration to be very interesting. He sincerely wanted what was best for the children and wanted them to learn as much as they could about the world around them, but the administration blocked him at every turn. I found myself cheering for every small victory he achieved and booing for the times those victories were taken away from him.

    I highly recommend The Water is Wide and any other books by Pat Conroy. He truly is a master storyteller.

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 17, 2009

    Still Good After All These Years

    I highly recommend this book. I recently purchased this book and discovered that I had already read it, but after all, it's Pat Conroy (an incredible writer, and it had been a long time since I read it. I'm so very glad I did reread it. There are two story lines; one, a biographical story following his maturation process, and two, the story of teaching illiterate black children for just one year on Yamacraw Island. It's a very good read and one which makes you think a lot. His unconventional teaching methods and maverick ways are successful, and make him revered on the island, but a perceived problem to conventional, conservative, southern school board members.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A POIGNANT YET JOYFUL LOOK AT OUR PAST

    Following his acclaimed "The Great Santini" and "The Prince Of Tides" we have come to expect not only radiant prose but honesty and intriguing story telling from Pat Conroy. There is no disappointment whatsoever in his THE WATER IS WIDE, a memoir of the time he spent on a small South Carolina island attempting to teach the poorest of the poor who could neither read nor write. Making the task even more difficult was the fact that they spoke what is called Gullah, a type of Creole developed by the African American people living there.

    On Yamacraw (a fictional name for the island where Conroy stayed) the living is credibly stark, tantamount perhaps to a third world country. The children have nothing - of course, no television, radio or anything. One might think of them as growing up in a cultural void. Yet they're hungry to learn, even almost hypnotized by Beethoven's Fifth symphony.

    Upon arriving on the island Conroy is met by the school teacher, Mrs. Brown, a martinet if there ever was one. Her teaching methods consist primarily of striking the children or delivering verbal insults. Obviously, her methods have not been successful, so Conroy tries a much different, more relaxed approach - chairs in a circle, walks together. Eventually, his methods win over not only the children but the island's residents as well. However, Mrs. Brown and school officials remains opposed to him.

    Although in truth the island is much changed today THE WATER IS WIDE remains a heartwarming true story of what patience and understanding can accomplish. It is a poignant yet joyful look at our past.

    Highly recommended.

    - Gail Cooke

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 13, 2011

    So Pat Conroy

    For all teachers!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 27, 2011

    Takes Me Back

    Like Pat Conroy, I once spent a year teaching students in a made-to-fail situation in the mid-1960s. I was impressed not only by his ability to turn the experience into good literature, but by his creativity as a teacher, which has carried over to his skill as a writer. I also found myself feeling very sorry for his wife because it was obvious that his students were getting most if not all of his attention.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    A must read for Conroy fans and educators everywhere.

    Pat Conroy's memoir takes us back to the earyl seventies and chronicles his early experiences as a teacher on the remote, rural, poor, and forgotten Yamacraw Island of South Carolina. An energetic, young teacher, Conroy braves the elements of the island and the waters that separate it from the mainlad each and every day with the goal of providing the poor, black children of the island a proper education. What he discovers is that providing these children with a picture of the world outside the island, and providing opportunities for real life experiences is just as important as academics. What he faces is the frustrating push-back from administration and the criticism of a world filled with racial prejudice. The reader will be consumed by Conroy's determination, enthralled by the lives of the characters, and awakened to the social and educational plights of children and families in rural America.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    I rarely read

    I never was one to read that much because it is so hard for me to find books I actually like. This book captures it all! I say this is the perfect book to read if youre a picky reader!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    The Water is Wide is beautifully written. A distressing, yet inspiring memoir. In the book, Pat Conroy writes an honest, candid account of his year as a teacher at Yamacraw, based on Daufuskie Island, off the South Carolina coast. Pat's early teaching position prepared him for yet another milestone in his courageous writing. From day one, at Yamacraw's school, Conroy seeks to reconcile years of disregard for every child's right: the right to a proper education. Conroy shares his shock, hopes and dreams for the children who are neglected and uneducated, which is sad, yet inspirational. As with Conroy's, Prince of Tides, I was drawn immediately into the unique story. I was appalled at the lack of education on the island and even more so, at the men in control who bent to no man to assist Conroy in his efforts to alter the offensive school system. It would take more than Pat Conroy's unconventional teaching methods to deliver the tools required for the system to meet their children's needs. The children on Yamacraw were part of our future; the island's school system investment let them down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 11, 2013

    Pat Conroy wrote this story about his year of teaching in a scho

    Pat Conroy wrote this story about his year of teaching in a school for poor black kids on an island off South Carolina in 1969. A young man on fire to teach not just the basics, but to give kids a broader view of the world, runs into a culture of ignorance and neglect, and not just with the blacks, but the whites as well. The administration is woefully neglectful, since they do not really care what happens to the poor black children in their so-called school. The only other teacher in the school is a black woman who believes children need beatings and shame to learn and practices both on what seems to be a daily basis. Why she thinks that is beyond me. Surely she can see that the kids she sends on to Conroy after her years of "teaching" have advanced only in hating her and learning to beat on each other. Some cannot read or write at all, and those who can are nowhere near their grade level. I applaud Conroy's efforts to raise awareness of the world beyond the island by taking them on trips and exposing them to other forms of enrichment, but the time might have been better spent in teaching the basics of reading and writing. Perhaps one or two moved beyond the limitations of their environment, but without the basic skills of reading, writing, and math to build on, it would be extremely difficult. Conroy might have made a huge difference in the lives of many of the children had he been able to stay on for several years, but in his anger and frustration at the less than worthless administration, he butted heads and lost the battle and if he made any dent at all in the lives of those children, it had to have been minimal.



    Eunice Boeve author of Echoes of Kansas Past

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    This is one of those books I think about a lot afterwards. I rea

    This is one of those books I think about a lot afterwards. I read this book a year ago and still find myself reflecting on it. I am a teacher and was inspired by his dedication to this students and ability to make connections in the hardest circumstances. Wonderful book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Highly recommended ...you must read this book!

    I would read other books by this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    I Loved This Book

    Unfortunately, I did not know of this book's existence until I saw the 1974 movie with John Voight. I knew I just had to read it, and in doing so, I feel that this is one of the most important books about education to read. The story of the children on Ymacraw Island is one of the most poignant I've read in avery long time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2012

    Worth a read.

    This was a good read but not one of his best. Beach Music is my favorite and he is my favorite author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Bored...

    I couldn't finish it. I was expecting more from his relationships with the students.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2011

    A Fair Read

    This in my opinion was an "okay" book.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 9, 2010

    Such a great book!

    I enjoy Pat Conroy's writing, it is the reason I visited Beaufort S.C and it has become one of my most favorite places I have been! Wonderful place! Wonderful book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    Wow...Fatastic book!

    If all that Conroy discribed is true, well I'm in lovewith him. Beautiful story about change and showing the realism in doing so. After Water is Wide, I had to go hunting for other Conry material. Awsome book! Don't miss it!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2007

    The Water is Wide Review

    This book, 'The Water is Wide' by Pat Conroy, is a great book. It's about a man named Pat Conroy who wants to teach kids on Yamacraw Island. He takes them on many field trips. And he wanted to take the students to Atlanta but didn't have enough money. So he took a personal day off to raise $400 but got caught by Doctor Piedmont, the administrator, and was banished from the island. If I was a student of Pat Conroy I would be very thankful for the things he did for us but would be very sad that he was forced to leave. This book was a very good book. I would recommend it to anybody because I think it would suit anyone.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Great book for anyone

    In the book the water is wide by pat conroy it is a great book i would reccomend it to anyone or any other titles by pat conroy. In the book conroy goes to the island of yamacraw off the coast of beuford South Carolina. He goes there to teach the students on the island he has eight teen students to teach they are older children he does a great job with them and takes them on a few field trips as the year goes along one is wahington d.c. but when he returns the next september to the island to teach he only teaches a few weeks when he takes personal leave to work another job to raise money to take the children to atlanta then the superitendent is not happy and does not want him teaching on the island anymore.Overall the book is great book of how one man can make a diffrence in these students life on a island.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2006

    the real truth about the name

    if anybody did not know and your looking for a yamercrka island off the the coast of south carolina well pat conor changed the name of the island and all of his students. i know this because i went to dafuskie island and they told us the truth and well other wise the book is amazing!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 4