Life Without Waterby Nancy Peacock
In a powerful and acute debut, highly acclaimed author Nancy Peacock gives us a young narrator who is both knowing and innocent, trusting and fearful: a girl named Cedar, who reflects on her childhood in the wake of the Vietnam war. As she and her young
This is the kind of book that you read, love and then give to a friend saying, "You have to read this...
In a powerful and acute debut, highly acclaimed author Nancy Peacock gives us a young narrator who is both knowing and innocent, trusting and fearful: a girl named Cedar, who reflects on her childhood in the wake of the Vietnam war. As she and her young mother Sara both come of age, Cedar explores the intense bondand discovers the boundariesof their mother-daughter relationship. Living as hippies in an abandoned farmhouse in North Carolina, Sara and Cedar survive a number of romantic and domestic misadventures, first with Cedar's father Sol, and later with a group of friends living together in a commune-style home. Lyrical, bittersweet and utterly unforgettable, Life Without Water uniquely captures this timeand its joys, hazards, complexities and disappointments.
The narrator, Cedar, was born in 1969 in North Carolina. Her mother Sara, devastated at the time by the recent death of her brother Jimmie in Vietnam, had succumbed to the seductions of bandana-wearing Sol and had moved with him into an abandoned house without plumbing, where the two lived off the proceeds of Sol's dope dealing. Sol draws on the walls and paints the floor like a rainbow, and when Cedar is born, he has 60 friends over to celebrate. When Cedar is four, Sara puts her mattress in the van and she and Cedar leavethe house is cold and Sol passes out too often. Heading into Taos, the van breaks down, and handsome Daniel gives Sara and Cedar a lift. He has a girlfriend but falls for Sara anyway, and soon the trio is headed back to North Carolina, to the house that they're sure Sol couldn't have kept up on his own. Acquaintances Woody and Elaine and their two kids move in, too. Elaine bakes, Woody makes pots, and the children become best friends, and Sara is pregnant with Daniel's baby. Then Woody invites griping, unpleasant Topaz to stay, and suddenly Daniel is reading poetry to her, and then he's moved into her bedroom. Sara takes to her own bed, where she's nursed by Cedar; Daniel skulks in Topaz's room, sneaking down at night to steal food. And then Topaz is pregnant. She departs, and Daniel wants back into the family, but the house burns down and everyone's idyll is over. College-age Cedar's recollections are both wise and forgiving and add up to a complex blend of undiluted nostalgia for those anarchic days with the warmth of her extended family, and a clear-eyed view of the complexities within that edenic world.
In an accomplished debut, a dead-on rendition of the idealism and the emotional flux of an untraditional household.
- Bantam Books
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.01(w) x 7.04(h) x 0.64(d)
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This is am Amazing book. Once I picked it up, it was hard to put it down.
I feel for Cedar and the way she lives this is book. The hard times she went through, and caring for her mother. It is a truly moving book.
This book was outstanding! I wouldn't put the book down for anything. Nancey Peacock paints a passionate picture of one girl's life. I'm purchasing this book so I can give to my friends and family to read. I highly recommend it for a one rainy day read!