Shopping Cart Link


University Press of New England







Sign up for our newsletter







Bookmark and Share
Cart
Cart link
Hardcover add to cart
Cover image

Water Witches
Chris. Bohjalian



Hardscrabble Books–Fiction of New England

UPNE
1995 • 351 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Fiction & Literature


$40.00 Hardcover, 978-0-87451-687-6



“I was charmed by the mixture of country lore and planning boards, New Age witches and old-fashioned family duties, and I was glad that... [continued in Reviews below]”—Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered

An engaging novel of human dilemmas that find unusual solutions.

Vermont is drying up. The normally lush, green countryside is in the grip of the worst drought in years: stunted cornstalks rasp in the hot July breeze, parched vegetable gardens wither and die, the Chittenden River shrinks to a trickle, and the drilling trucks are booked solid as one by one the wells give out. Patience Avery, known nationwide as a gifted "water witch," is having a busy summer, too. Using the tools of the dowser's trade -- divining sticks, metal rods, bobbers, and pendulums -- she can locate, among other things, aquifers deep within the earth. In the midst of this crisis, Scottie Winston lobbies for permits to expand Powder Peak, a local ski area that's his law firm's principal client. As part of the expansion, the resort seeks to draw water for snowmaking from the beleaguered Chittenden, despite opposition from environmentalists who fear that the already weakened river will be damaged beyond repair.

What ensues in Chris Bohjalian's fourth novel is a struggle between conservation and development, rugged tradition versus inevitable progress. But it is also a tale of the clash between science and mystery, a chronicle of one man's transformation from cynic to believer. Vivid with the texture of New England ways, alive with characters both quirky and real, informed by the ongoing, real-life battles between environmentalism and economic expansion in Vermont, Water Witches is a story of ineffable forces, tenuous balances, "and perhaps something about our abilities as a people to heal and forgive and to love."

Reviews / Endorsements

“I was charmed by the mixture of country lore and planning boards, New Age witches and old-fashioned family duties, and I was glad that I read on to the novel's appealing conclusion, drenched as it is with abiding devotion and love. For anyone interested in the way we live with the land, on the land today, this novel makes for a thoughtful evening or two of entertaining reading.”—Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered

“A moving, life-affirming novel.”—Publishers Weekly

“Bohjalian has a fine hand with light, weather, the color and curve of the land . . . [he] has constructed an arresting drama . . . as welcome as rain on a parched garden.”—New York Newsday

“Bouyant and brilliant.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A bewitching tale from New England by a writer with a generous heart for his subjects, and respect for a landscape he clearly loves. Chris Bohjalian's voice is as steady and sure as Vermont rain.”—Cathie Pelletier, author of Candles on Bay Street



CHRIS BOHJALIAN is author of the bestselling novel Midwives, as well as Trans-sister Radio. The Law of Similars, Past the Bleachers, Hangman, and A Killing in the Real World, in addition to numerous articles and reviews in publications such as the New York Times, Boston Globe, Reader's Digest, and Vermont Life. Past the Bleachers was filmed as a television movie by Hallmark.



Sat, 2 Dec 2017 11:57:35 -0500