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Cover for Blue Water

Blue Water

A Novel

A. Manette Ansay


List Price: 13.95*
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From New York Times bestselling author A. Manette Ansay comes an unforgettable story of two families united by tragedy -- and one woman's deeply emotional journey toward a choice she'd never thought possible.

On an ordinary morning in Fox Harbor, Wisconsin, Meg and Rex Van Dorn's lives are irrevocably altered when a drunk driver -- Meg's onetime best friend, Cindy Ann Kreisler -- slams into the Van Dorns' car, killing their six-year-old son, Evan. As Meg recovers from her own injuries, she and Rex are shocked when Cindy Ann receives a mere slap on the wrist. In their rage and grief, they buy a boat to sail around the world, hoping to put as much distance as possible between themselves and Cindy Ann. But when Meg returns to Fox Harbor for a family wedding, she's forced to face the complex ties that bind her to the woman who has destroyed her peace.

Praise For Blue Water: A Novel

“Ansay’s clear voice, clean style, true characters, and sophisticated plot exude a gem.” — Boston Globe

“[A] brilliant new novel...[with] a pitch-perfect tone.” — Chicago Tribune

William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780380732883, 304pp.

Publication Date: April 11, 2006

About the Author

A. Manette Ansay is the author of eight books, including Vinegar Hill, Midnight Champagne (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Blue Water. She has received the Pushcart Prize, two Great Lakes Book Awards, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches in the MFA writing program at the University of Miami.

Conversation Starters from

Based on her demeanor at the scene of the accident and her behavior throughout Blue Water, how would you describe Cindy Ann Kreisler, the woman responsible for Evan Van Dorn’s death?  

What role does the small-town atmosphere of Fox Harbor play in Rex and Meg Van Dorn’s decision to seek time at sea on their sailboat, the Chelone?  

What aspects of life on the Chelone draw Rex and Meg closer together, and what aspects push them further apart?  

How does Toby’s relationship with Mallory Donaldson, Cindy Ann Kreisler’s sister, complicate the Van Dorns’ decision to seek legal damages from Cindy Ann?  

How does Cindy Ann’s sexual abuse by her stepfather, Dan Kolb, impact Meg’s feelings about her son’s killer?  

In what ways does Meg’s budding friendship with Bernadette Hale and her invalid son, Leon, transform her feelings about seeking revenge and granting forgiveness?  

To what extent is Evan’s accidental death the cause of the deterioration of Rex and Meg’s marriage?  

What explains Meg’s decision to befriend Cindy Ann Kreisler on her return to Fox Harbor, and how does this decision impact her relationship with Rex?   

How would you describe Meg and Rex’s methods of grieving over the course of Blue Water?  

At the end of the novel, what does the birth of Toby and Mallory’s daughter, Sadie, represent to Meg?