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When I learned that Nancy E. Turner had a new book coming out, I was hoping for a sequel to the wonderful THESE IS MY WORDS. THE WATER AND THE BLOOD was an unexpected, and deeply rewarding surprise.
Ms. Turner is a remarkable writer. She has the knack of taking ordinary people and every day lives, no matter what the time period, and turning them into unforgetable characters and profound reading experiences.
This book is often painful to read, but impossible to put down. Ms. Turner takes us to a time and place that we sometimes don't want to visit. But every word she writes is true and strong.
Frosty's experiences with her family, neighbors, and school mates, are not at all out of place in a small Texas town in the forties. Still her relationship with a family who will never understand her,and the reaction of those around her,is sometimes painful to read. "Dysfunctional family" is a contemporary term, but unfortunately has been accurate for many previous generations.
The Navajo code talker, Gordon, who helps Frosty to change from adolescent to adult, is as realistic and sensitive a hero as one could ask for. Their love story is handled with such care, it was like reading about real people. For me, the true test of exceptional writing.
So, this is not the book I was expecting. I am still hopeful that Ms. Turner will gift us with a sequel to WORDS. But in the meantime, she has given us another extraordinary novel. Written with grace and passion, and that unique gift of writing about people whom we all might have known.
A profoundly moving amd powerful book about coming of age, doing the "right" thing, and that love and respect often come at an enormous price, THE WATER AND THE BLOOD is not to be missed.
I only hope that Nancy E. Turner receives the respect and accolades she so richly deserves. I am grateful she shares a truly special gift with all of us who love to read.
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