Living Water

Living Water

by Obery Hendricks


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Sprung from the pages of The New Testament, Living Water is a gripping and lyrical portrayal of a young women's search for identity set against the strict social confines of the time. This extraordinary first novel brings to life one of the most mysterious and intriguing characters in the Bible — the woman at the well.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060000875
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/16/2003
Edition description: 1ST
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.21(d)

About the Author

A former Wall Street investment executive, professional musician, and competitive martial artist, Obery Hendricks is the immediate past president of Payne Theological Seminary, the oldest African American seminary in the United States. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Professor of Biblical Studies at New York Theological Seminary. This is his first novel.

What People are Saying About This

Iyanla Vanzant

“A divinely inspired bridge to a new level of self-awareness. A must read.”

Cornel West

“Living Water is an exemplary novel for our times. Don’t miss this book!”

Michael Eric Dyson

“It is hard to believe that this is Hendricks’ first trip to the literary well.”

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Living Water 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
debs4jc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Plot Summary: What happens, When & Where, Central Characters, Major ConflictsThe author tells the story of "Maryam", the women at the well, from the time she is a little "gibora" girl, running around like a boy and getting herself into trouble for it. The story follows her as her spirit is broken again and again by the men in her life, as her father gives her in marriage, her new husband tries to force his perversion on her, she is cast aside, she finds love only to be abandoned, and so on. Finally she meets a good man, and then they encounter Jesus and she is given a message of hope to bring to the other people of her village.Style Characterisics: Pacing, clarity, structure, narrative devices, etc.All throughout Hendricks mixes the Jewishness of the Samaritians with African culture. He also emphasizes the "divine feminine", making this a story of how the men of the village have dominated the women to overcome their own insecurities and how they must rediscover the "womb-spirit" to be healed. Jesus is portrayed as embracing this philosophy as well. The reader can feel for the characters as their pain is vividly portrayed, and the historical/cultural depiction of Samaria are also comes across well.How Good is it?Theologically I don't agree, but the author does do a great job with creating real life characters and throws and interesting cultural spin onto an old story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book changed my life. Well, actually the way that I look at life. All I can say is that if you've ever wondered why black men sometimes carry a chip on this shoulder, this book will help you to understand. The author used the story of the woman at the well, to help people understand the way oppression can make the oppressed oppress their own people. It's so much more I want to say, but to sum it up...if you don't read this book you're whack!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was hard to put the book down. I just kept my interest the whole way through. I really enjoyed the book and I fell like it really changed my thinking and will change my life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. Hendricks for Booking Matters Magazine in February 2003, however at the time, I had not finished his novel (Living Water). I am very happy to share that I recently finished the novel and was left almost speechless by it's contents. Dr. Hendricks' dug really dip to pen such a powerful account of the well known bible story of the woman at the well. Growing up in church, I've heard the story (like many of you) preached, taught probably 1,000 different ways...however, I have never pondered who this woman really was. I never thought that maybe she (Maryam) had a story. In my quest to read novels that are historically based, I could NOT have chosen a better book to begin with. Living Water gives any reader a front row seat into the life of the 'Woman at the Well' beginning with her childhood. By the end of the book, you feel as if you know her personally and you understand her reputation as having had five husbands. (you meet the husbands in the story) Reading this novel opened up a plethora of new words for me, as Dr. Hendricks is a master storyteller, gifted writer and scholar. While challenging in some parts, the more I read, the harder it became for me to put the book down. Throughout the story, original biblical names are used, which makes the story even more interesting. The character development is super and the story flows very well. Some might view this as a challenging read but one, which will leave you thirsty no more. I highly recommend this to any avid reader, male and female, clergy, book's a GREAT read. Hats off to Dr. Hendrick's for giving us insight into the lives of these bible story characters, especially Maryam. Thanks for reminding us that even the people in the bible had/have significant stories¿. I await your next novel....with great anticipation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This excellent first from Hendricks held my interest from beginning to end! This is an explosive journey from carefree childhood into disenchanted womanhood, while oppressed at every turn. The subject, who comes on the scene brimming with life, is soon conditioned and convicted by the society in which she lives to conform to it's laws and convenient misinterpretations of the Word of God. In the end she triumphs over the inherent conditions and people who had her so hopelessly bound! Thru failed marriages in a society that overtly oppressed women, our subject finds abundant Life when she drinks from the well of true living water! Kudos Dr. Hendricks. Looking forward to more good work!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Obery Hendricks, a masterful storyteller, blends the biblical story of the "woman at the well" (John 4:7-29) with African American mores and experience into an examination of the effects of oppression and self-hatred on male-female relationships. Living Water places the reader in the middle of the life of the "woman at the well," an unnamed Samaritan woman with a seemingly scandalous background (five ex-husbands and a live-in), who encounters Jesus at the local well. Hendricks immediately captures the reader's imagination and holds on to it with a description of a dying man's last moments: "The blood glistens red in the dim light of the windowless stone hut, though not as red on his berry-brown skin, held taut and shining by labors and prides and hatreds and taunts, as on her cinnamon. It gushes from the neat gash staring from his fleshy throat, from beneath the thick woolen beard, in rhythmic bursts, the first high and angry and terrible, then those that follow coming slower, without the heated immediacy of the first, like angry breath mollifying." He takes the reader on a deeply moving journey through this woman's sometimes painful and troubling life in a male-dominated society. When her loving grandmother, Ma Tee, dies, she must learn how to navigate and survive the customs and rules designed to control her without her primary source of love, wisdom, and refuge. Local custom forces her to marry the highest bidder and places her at the mercy of the first of five very difficult husbands. Circumstances and cultural dictates force her to move from husband to husband and leave her emotionally broken and nearly destroyed -- until she decides to fight back and take charge of her life. She ultimately finds the strength that enables her to heal, forgive, and embrace a man and community with true love and spirit. Obery Hendricks' first novel is a celebration of womanhood, the healing power of love and forgiveness, and the resilience of the human spirit.