Set in New England, The Forms of Water is a superb exploration of the complexities of family life, grief and the ties that continue to bind us to the past. At the age of 80, Brendan Auberon, a former monk, is now confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home. As a last wish, he is desperate to catch a final glimpse of the 200 acres of woodland on which once stood his parental home. Half a century ago, the owners of the land were evicted from their homes and the land was flooded to create a reservoir which would provide water for the big city. The Forms of Water is the story of what happens when Brendan convinces his staid nephew Henry to hijack the nursing home van to make this ancestral visit. What begins as a joke, becomes infinitely more complex as the family roles begin to rearrange themselves. A rich and absorbing look at the complexities of family life, at grief and at the ties that continue to bind us to the past.
ANDREA BARRETT lives in Rochester, NY. She is the author of five novels, and a collection of stories, Ship Fever, which won the National Book Award in 1996 and received startling critical acclaim: 'The title novella is devastating: as with every story here, you enter right into it, and cannot entirely leave it behind.' New Yorker