➲ Gathering the Water Read ➺ Author Robert Edric – Uroturk.info

Gathering the Water It Is , Northern England, And Charles Weightman Has Been Given The Unenviable Task Of Overseeing The Flooding Of The Forge Valley And Evicting Its Lingering Inhabitants Weightman Is Heartily Resented By These Locals, And He Himself Is Increasingly Unconvinced Both Of The Wisdom Of His Appointment And Of The Integrity And Motives Of The Company Men Who Posted Him There He Finds Some Solace, However, In His Enigmatic Neighbour, Mary Latimer Caring For Her Mad Sister, Mary Is Also An Outsider, And A Companionship Develops Between The Two Of Them Which Offers Them Both Some Comfort And Support In Their Mutual IsolationAs Winter Closes Steadily In And As The Waters Begin To Rise In The Forge Valley, It Becomes Increasingly Evident That The Man Made Deluge Cannot Be Avoided Not By The Locals Desperate To Save Their Homes, Nor By The Reluctant Agent Of Their Destruction, Weightman HimselfIn A Masterful New Novel, Edric Captures Powerful Human Emotions With Grace And Precision The Hauntingly Resonant Backdrop To This Story Of David And Goliath Marks Edric S Dramatic Return To Historical Literary Fiction Given to me to read for my book group, the blurb on the back of this, and the Caspar David Friedrich inspired copied illustration on the cover gave me some hope.Alas, no, it wasn t to my tastes This is a tale from the mid Nineteenth Century of an engineer overseeing the flooding of a valley in The North , and the resistance of the locals to all this No, in truth I m not wholly sure what the point of it all was I found it relentlessly grim the ending particularly so with a writing style veering somehow between young adult simplicity and unnecessary descriptiveness But all it was describing was wet grey cold scenery yeah, we get it and uninteresting characters Admittedly there were only two characters of any depth, everyone else was a simpleton stereotype. Gathering the Water explores a remote Northern valley in the weeks before it is flooded forever It reads like an allegory a water board employee dips into the enclosed lives of the inhabitants, having neither the power to help them nor the ability to influence his shadowy employers His meticulous reports are ignored he is told to abridge them and he duly fabricates them and immerses himself in the brooding landscape The image of a rising tide, an unstoppable flood, insinuates itself throughout the novel Some stories of the landscape which have been buried underground are revealed as the water level rises We sense Mr Weightman s increasing sympathy with the villagers and the dialogue reveals the gulf that separates him from the inhabitants The novel works both as a portrait of Victorian northern life and as a model for the pointlessness of many modern day Kafkaesque jobs Corruption, madness, hypocrisy and ignorance emerge, leading to its tragic conclusion It s a rare and special novel it most resembles novel Waterland by Graham Swift, as a portrait of a landscape and its inbred people It s a novel that can t be easily summarised images linger on after you ve read it, longlisted for the Man Booker prize, thoroughly recommended. This is a somewhat puzzling book The prose is exquisite and the picture Edric paints of the bleak Pennine landscape is perfect he has an eye and a word for everything which makes the hills mysterious and forbidding and exciting But to what end There is little in the way of plot the novel is a collection of almost random episodes in the brief history of a man sent in the mid 19th century to a remote valley to oversee the eviction of the homesteaders so that a new reservoir may be created for the town of Halifax It is a novel which is at once satisfying and disappointing Someone, somewhere, wrote that Edric s style is to mirror the unconnectedness of life, to point out that things happen in a random way irrelevant to a central theme or narrative That is certainly the overall impression created in this novel Yet it is in many ways gorgeous the imagery is brilliant and the writing spare and powerful I shall read it again, for sure. The cover drew me in first The colour is at the perfect point between blue and grey and the drawing is lovely Who is the man and what is he looking down at I hadn t read anything by Robert Erdic before, but I was aware that he was a respected author, and so I picked up the book to find out a little , The premise was intriguing, and so home it came.In 1847, after the death of his fiance , Charles Weightman is sent to Yorkshire to supervise the flooding of a valley.It s an element of history that I don t recall finding in a novel before Springs and wells that have supplied communities with water cannot cope with new demands and population growth, and so valleys are turned into reservoirs.He expected to find unpopulated countryside, but instead he finds homes still occupied and people who are reluctantly having to leave the only homes they have ever known And so, of course, Charles meets with suspicion, resentment and downright hostility.Mary Latimer is a widow She moved back to her home in the valley so that she could bring her sister home from the asylum, but mow she faces the prospect of losing her home and being forced to send her sister back to the asylum.There is a mutual recognition between Mary and Charles acknowlege each other as people who have borne losses, who are isolated, who are trying to do the right thing in difficult situations.There is no relationship this isn t that sort of book just two lives being swept away as the tide rises.A great deal is unsaid, and many questions go unanswered, while the rising tide dominates everything In unskilled hands that might be a problem, but here it somehow works Indeed, it feels right.The story is, inevitably, serious and, of course, there can be no happy ending But it is both moving and gripping as it unravels in perfect, sparse prose, and all of the elements work together beautifully.Definitely a book that will stay with me, and an author to investigate further,

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