The Sweetness of Water
In the dying days of the American Civil War, newly freed brothers Landry and Prentiss find themselves cast into the world without a penny to their names. Forced to hide out in the woods near their former Georgia plantation, they’re soon discovered by the land’s owner, George Walker, a man still reeling from the loss of his son in the war. When the brothers begin to live and work on George’s farm, the tentative bonds of trust and union begin to blossom between the strangers. But this sanctuary survives on a knife’s edge, and it isn’t long before the inhabitants of the nearby town of Old Ox react with fury at the alliances being formed only a few miles away.
**LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 BOOKER PRIZE**
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND BARACK OBAMA SUMMER READING 2021 SELECTION
‘A fine, lyrical novel, impressive in its complex interweaving of the grand and the intimate, of the personal and political‘ Observer
Landry and Prentiss are two brothers born into slavery, finally freed as the American Civil War draws to its bitter close. Cast into the world without a penny to their names, their only hope is to find work in a society that still views them with nothing but intolerance.
Farmer George Walker and his wife Isabelle are reeling from a loss that has shaken them to their core. After a chance encounter, they agree to employ the brothers on their land, and slowly the tentative bonds of trust begin to blossom between the strangers.
But this sanctuary survives on a knife’s edge, and it isn’t long before a tragedy causes the inhabitants of the nearby town to turn their suspicion onto these new friendships, with devastating consequences.
An Oprah Book Club Pick
‘[A] highly accomplished debut’ Sunday Times
Readers have been swept away by The Sweetness of Water:
‘Such a powerful, magnificent book; I urge you to read it. The comparisons with Colson Whitehead are justified’ *****
‘A staggering debut and a story that stays with you’ *****
‘Thought-provoking and moving . . . a gripping and compelling novel that exposes flaws, mixed emotions and imperfect relationships, and yet it holds on with determination and hope. It fully deserves a 5-star rating’ *****
‘Outstanding . . . A book that deserves widespread recognition and a wide audience’ *****