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Bonnie Jo Campbell

Forfatter af Once Upon a River

6+ Works 1,592 Members 110 Reviews 7 Favorited

Værker af Bonnie Jo Campbell

Once Upon a River (2011) 747 eksemplarer
American Salvage (2009) 402 eksemplarer
Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (2015) 162 eksemplarer
Q Road (2002) 125 eksemplarer
Women & Other Animals (1999) 89 eksemplarer
The Waters: A Novel (2024) 67 eksemplarer

Associated Works

Shadow Show (2012) — Bidragyder — 361 eksemplarer
Our Working Lives: Short Stories of People and Work (2000) — Redaktør, nogle udgaver6 eksemplarer

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Hermine “Herself ” Zook has spent all of her life on her little island in the Great Massasauga Swamp—an area known as “The Waters” to the residents of Whiteheart, Michigan. Herself is known for her skill as an herbalist and has made a living out of selling herbal remedies to those from nearby towns seeking her help. Her marriage of fifteen years ended after she threw her husband out after a scandal that is still fodder for gossip among the townspeople. Her daughters have grown up and have all left home, her eldest Primrose a lawyer, her middle daughter Maryrose (Molly) a nurse and her youngest Rose Thorn who lives in California with Primrose but has left her daughter Dorothy “Donkey” Zook with Herself to raise. As the story begins, we find out that Herself has isolated herself from her community, rarely venturing out of her home with only her eleven-year-old granddaughter for company. Donkey has questions about her family, has heard the whispers and has sensed the strained relationship between the women in her family but is unable to get anyone to tell her all she wants to know. Donkey also misses her mother and craves having a father in her life and spends her time learning from the nooks her aunts send her, bonding with animals and nature and following after her grandmother, secretly concocting remedies for those requesting Herself’s services. When Rose Thorn returns to Rose Cottage, old friendships are rekindled, resentments resurface and as the secrets about her family begin to unravel it is to be seen whether Donkey will finally get the family she desires, or the revelations drive the family further apart.

The Waters by Bonnie Jo Campbell is an intriguing story revolving around themes of family, loneliness, isolation, grief, and community. I loved the vividly described setting of the island, the surrounding rural community and the mystique of Herself and her remedies. My heart ached for Donkey and her loneliness. Her desire for a family and her connection to nature and her love for animals will strike a chord in your heart. The main female characters are well thought out, as is the dynamic between the Zook women and their immediate community who regard them in turn with awe, admiration, curiosity, resentment, and a bit of fear. It did bother me that none of the male characters were portrayed in a positive light. Titus Jr. whose history with Rose plays a significant role in the story and who remains, for the most part, a positive influence in Donkey’s life lacked depth and certain aspects of his storyline toward the end felt inconsistent compared to how his character was built up. There is a lot to unpack in this story – long-buried secrets, mysteries, and deeply emotional moments but perhaps, there was too much going on with the characters, which resulted in a long-drawn (and a tad convoluted) narrative with inconsistent pacing and more than a few unnecessary supporting characters and underwhelming plot points. I was glad the pace picked up in the last quarter but overall, though there is a lot to like about the writing and despite being a fan of character-driven immersive stories, I struggled to stay invested in the characters or the narrative as a whole.

Please note that there are scenes of animal cruelty that might prove disturbing for some readers.
Finally, I love that cover!

I received a digital review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
… (mere)
srms.reads | 4 andre anmeldelser | Feb 26, 2024 |
Boy this book was disappointing. It has received a lot of hype. The plot was somewhat interesting but the book just dragged on and on. There was character development of minor characters that took forever. No one was likeable. Don’t waste your time.
kayanelson | 4 andre anmeldelser | Feb 18, 2024 |
Disappointing. Strange tale of a family of women who grew up on an island surrounded by “the water”. Snakes and potions, odd names and secrets converge to make this an odd novel that takes a long time to get to a revealing conclusion. Donkey a tall girl of 11 years who loves math, her grandmother Herself and Rose Thorn is incredibly beautiful and seems to put Trance in the local men and the Bentable? . Add Prim Rose and Molly each with an agenda contrary to Herself their mother. Odd book, the beginning drags and the author didn’t create a comfortable environment yet writes lyrically of the marsh and the animals and people who inhabit. Weird story.… (mere)
bblum | 4 andre anmeldelser | Feb 9, 2024 |



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