"Water, Carry Me"
(Reviewed by Karma Sawka FEB 21 2002)
"On calm nights, when the soft wash of the sea on the shingle of our bay seemed like the whispers of a dream, my grandda told me stories of the ocean's dead. I was little and never doubted the answers to the questions I asked. We lived at the far side of Cobh, seaward from the quay and the lofty dun cathedral that loomed above it, close to where the water met the shore. Cobh is at the head of Cork Harbor. A dark place, Cobh."
Medical student Una Moss has lived with her grandda, Rawney, in the South of Ireland since her mother and father were killed in a car accident when she was a young girl. Una sometimes senses that things in her family are not what they seem, and gradually learns generations of political secrets from which she has been sheltered all her life.
Unsure of herself and inexperienced in love, Una meets a charming draughtsman, Aidan Ferrell. Aidan very patiently courts Una through her fears of intimacy and trust. At first hesitantly - and then blindly - falling for this man from the North, she begins to sense that he may also be harboring secrets of his past.
As we become acquainted with Una, her family and her friends, the narrative ebbs and flows like the waters of Cork, the "Venice of Ireland." A jolting and intense ending left me thinking and wondering about these characters long after I closed the book. Questions are left unanswered, but so were many of Una's; some things are best left unsaid and unexplained in troubling times.
Ripe with water imagery and a lovely Irish dialogue, Water, Carry Me introduces its audience to the lives of everyday university students in the "sunny South" of Ireland, and how politics always play in the undercurrent. Although the violence in the book is based on actual events, readers seeking to fully understand the history of the Troubles and exactly who's who in Irish politics will need to find a different source. This is a story about truth, loyalty and love in a divided Ireland where politics are ingrained in the contemporary culture and lives of its people.
- Amazon readers rating: from 18 reviews
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
- The Man in the Box (1997)
- The World I Made for Her (1998)
- Water, Carry Me (March 2000)
- What Harry Saw (September 2002)
- Anja the Liar (September 2003)
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- The officials Web site for Thomas Moran
- Wordsworth Web page about Thomas Moran and his books
- The New York Times review of The Man in the Box
- The New York Times excerpt of The World I Made for Her
- The New York Times review of The World I Made for Her
- PenguinPutnam reading guide for Water, Carry Me
- Reading Group guide for Water, Carry Me
- The New York Times excerpt of Water, Carry Me
- BookReporter.com review Water, Carry Me
- HoustonChronicle.com review of What Harry Saw
- BookPage review of What Harry Saw
- The New York Times review of Anja the Liar
- ReviewOfBooks.com collection of reviews for Anja the Liar
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About the Author:
Thomas Moran earned his master's degree from The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and soon after became a news reporter. In his 20-year newspaper and magazine career, he traveled throughout the world - from China, Japan, the Philippines, Korea and other Asian nations to Yugoslavia, Italy, Germany, France, the U.K. and almost everywhere else in Europe. As a journalist he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting for a series on the New York Mafia.
In his own words he, "never wanted or expected to write a line of fiction, and probably never would have but for a simple, single phrase that came into my mind one evening in 1995. That phrase resonated, expanded into ideas, characters, a story line, eventually a complete novel -which in January, 1997 was published by Riverhead Books as The Man in the Box." The novel won the Stephen Crane Award for Best First Fiction, and lead to a contract with Riverhead for four more novels. Moran quit journalism in 1998, and has been a full-time novelist since. His acclaimed novels have been translated into five languages.
He divides his time between Woodstock, New York, and Europe.