The Nature of Water and Air
By Regina McBride
(Touchstone, Paperback, 9780743203234, 320pp.)
Publication Date: May 2, 2001
Other Editions of This Title: Audio Cassette
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"My mother was never easy in the world of houses. She was a tinker, a traveler girl who had married a wealthy man. Her name was Agatha Sheehy....There are silences all around my mother's story."
So begins The Nature of Water and Air, set on a patch of Irish coast where, amid a flurry of whispers, we meet Agatha's only surviving daughter, Clodagh. Determined to secure her mother's elusive love and the truth about her, Clodagh is swept into a relationship with a handsome, isolated man. He brings her to the heart of her mother's story, where she must confront the questions "Does a truth change love?" and "What madness will come from chasing a secret?"
Powerfully sensitive, this startling debut novel about forbidden love will place Regina McBride among our most celebrated novelists.
Regina McBride is the author of The Nature of Water and Air and The Land of Women. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the New York Foundation for the Arts, she lives in New York City.
What distinguishes The Nature of Wather and Air...is the precision of the language and the haunting power of the narrative.
Tillie Olsen Evoking a raw and spirited Ireland, The nature of Water and Air is an astoundingly rich and lyrical novel about mothers and daughters, secrets and delusions, and the salve of love.
Brendan O'Carroll author of the Agnes Browne trilogy The Nature of Water and Air is delightful, lyrical, and beautifully sad.
Thomas Moran author of The Man in the Box McBride artfully evokes the brilliant beauty and the strange, brooding darkness that often dwell together in the Irish soul. The Nature of Water and Air honors the underappreciated art of genuine storytelling.
Peter Quinn author of Banished Children of Eve Filled with mystery and music, this is an astounding piece of storytelling that combines the dense lyricism of great poetry with the unflinching clarity of great prose.
Kirkus Elegant prose distinguishes a first novel set in modern Ireland that reads like a reclaimed folktale...A fine debut, unsettling and magical.
Beth Gibbs Library Journal McBride is an award-winning poet, and her novel is lyrical and sad, infused with fascinating folklore and the chill of the Irish landscape. A literary Maeve Binchy; recommended for public libraries.