The Waters

The Waters

by Bonnie Jo Campbell (Author)

A master of rural noir returns with a fierce, mesmerizing novel about exceptional women and the soul of a small town.

On an island in the Great Massasauga Swamp—an area known as “The Waters” to the residents of nearby Whiteheart, Michigan—herbalist Hermine “Herself” Zook has healed the local women of their ailments for generations. As stubborn as her tonics are powerful, Herself inspires reverence and fear in the people of Whiteheart, and even in her own three daughters. The youngest, beautiful and inscrutable Rose Thorn, has left her own daughter, eleven-year-old Dorothy “Donkey” Zook, to grow up wild.

Donkey spends her days searching for truths in the lush landscape and in her math books, waiting for her wayward mother and longing for a father, unaware that family secrets, passionate love, and violent men will flood through the swamp and upend her idyllic childhood.

With a “ruthless and precise eye for the details of the physical world” (New York Times Book Review), Bonnie Jo Campbell presents an elegant antidote to the dark side of masculinity, celebrating the resilience of nature and the brutality and sweetness of rural life.

Embrace the Literary Charms of "The Waters: A Novel" by Bonnie Jo Campbell: A Journey of Love, Loss, and Resilience

In the picturesque town of Willow Creek, nestled amidst the tranquil waters of Lake Superior, a compelling narrative unfolds in Bonnie Jo Campbell's "The Waters: A Novel." This heartwarming story delves into the lives of two individuals, Margaret and Art, who find themselves at a turning point in their lives.

Margaret, a nature-loving woman, embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she navigates the challenges of aging and the loss of her beloved husband. Through her profound connection with the natural world, she finds moments of solitude and reflection, seeking peace and healing amidst life's complexities.

Art, a retiree longing for a sense of purpose, embarks on a quest to restore a historic boat, the "Waters," to its former glory. As he pours his heart and soul into this ambitious project, he finds not only a renewed sense of direction but also a deep connection with Margaret, who shares his passion for the lake.

As Margaret and Art's paths intertwine, they find comfort and understanding in each other's company. Their bond grows stronger as they navigate the complexities of love, loss, and resilience. Their shared experiences and unwavering support for one another serve as a testament to the enduring power of human connection.

Bonnie Jo Campbell's "The Waters: A Novel" is a beautifully crafted story that captures the essence of the human spirit. With vivid imagery and a deep understanding of the human condition, Campbell paints a vivid portrait of life's challenges and the resilience we find within ourselves to overcome them.

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of "The Waters: A Novel" and embark on a literary journey that will leave you inspired, moved, and forever changed. Let the words of Bonnie Jo Campbell transport you to the shores of Lake Superior, where love, loss, and resilience intertwine in a story that will resonate long after you finish the final page.


W. W. Norton & Company
09 January 2024