The Water Dancers: A Novel

The Water Dancers A Novel A stunning new voice in literary fiction makes her remarkable debut in a moving lush and brilliantly rendered tale of the walls between wealth and poverty love and duty and a rich evocation of the

  • Title: The Water Dancers: A Novel
  • Author: Terry Gamble
  • ISBN: 9780060542665
  • Page: 408
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A stunning new voice in literary fiction makes her remarkable debut in a moving, lush, and brilliantly rendered tale of the walls between wealth and poverty, love and duty, and a rich evocation of the years following America s greatest trial and triumph.Terry Gamble s The Water Dancers is the story of Rachel Winnapee, a poverty stricken, sixteen year old Native American orA stunning new voice in literary fiction makes her remarkable debut in a moving, lush, and brilliantly rendered tale of the walls between wealth and poverty, love and duty, and a rich evocation of the years following America s greatest trial and triumph.Terry Gamble s The Water Dancers is the story of Rachel Winnapee, a poverty stricken, sixteen year old Native American orphan who goes to work at the opulent March family summer home on the shores of Lake Michigan in the post World War II summer of 1945 A young woman with no delusions about her place in this world of privilege, she quickly adapts to her role as an obedient servant expected to remain silent and unobtrusive while catering to her employers wishes Surrounded by a wealth she never imagined, she strives to remain invisible, until she is assigned the task of caring for the family s tragically scarred, emotionally shattered young scion, Woody March.A veteran who lost a leg in the Pacific conflict, Woody is haunted by his injuries and battlefield experiences and by the loss of the older brother he emulated and now desires only relief from his twin agonies of pain and memory He recognizes a kindred spirit in this gentle and mysterious child woman who is so unlike anyone he has ever known yet who understands the depths of human suffering In Rachel s eyes, Woody is a noble, tortured prince, and her fervent wish to help ease his torment soon metamorphoses into intense and irrevocable feelings of love and need.But if Rachel is a young woman with no future, Woody s has already been mapped out in intricate detail as the last surviving March son, he is to run a successful banking business, marry the well bred Elizabeth, and raise a family who will carry on the March name with distinction Yet the obligations he never questioned prior to the war are becoming increasingly odious to him especially now, as he feels himself becoming irresistibly drawn to Rachel in ways no one else in his world would understand or tolerate As the relationship between two lost and damaged souls intensifies, they move toward the one pivotal event that will alter their lives in ways both heartbreaking and profound.An unsparing portrayal of the conflicts of race, culture, and class that lays bare the complex passions and deepest yearnings of the human heart, Terry Gamble s The Water Dancers possesses a lyrical, strong, and assured artistry and heralds the arrival of a major new American novelist.

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      Posted by:Terry Gamble
      Published :2019-03-20T15:13:59+00:00

    One thought on “The Water Dancers: A Novel

    1. Kira

      Native American orphan Rachael Winapee works in the summer house of the March family, routinely, until the March's youngest son, Woody, returns home from war, wounded and addicted to morphine. Doubtless, the two fall in love, but everything goes downhill from there.This was a great book, but depressingly sad.

    2. Linda

      This was a "goodread". Not terribly compelling but it kept my interest. The concept of "tasting the earth" is interesting to me and I wonder if there is something to that. Does that really bring you home? How?

    3. Vivian

      Very interesting book. The author did a good job of building the characters. Ones' heart really can go out for Rachel as she suffered so much heartbreak. The descriptions of the Native American dances and handiwork was fascinating. And the humor of the tourist stand mixing the stuff from China with the locally handmade Native American crafts made me laugh. But the book had its serious side to with the soldiers and how they suffered from their wars. Good read.

    4. zespri

      This is a haunting, beautifully written book. Lots of themes and issues are touched on, taking a peep at the dedication page there are 7 listed ! World War, 1939 - 1945, Veterans, Women domestics, summer resorts, social classes, rich people, amputees. I liked the look at that list, and all are woven into the story.

    5. Vi Walker

      A beautiful novel about connections to home and land and the need humans have for a link to their past. A very enjoyable read.

    6. John Eich

      If you mash up the Great Gatsby and Jane Austen, add a dollop of Native American culture and scosh of shamanism, you'd be pretty close to this novel. Set in a wealthy summering lake town in Upper Michigan, an orphaned Native American girl begins working at one of the summer mansions and meets the wounded son, newly back from World War II. Annnnnnd, you know most of the rest of the story. Not all of it though; the author freshens the story with Native American culture and preserves some unexpecte [...]

    7. Missy

      I loved this story! This book was a nice change from what I normally read. Through the story, I was able to visit the state of Michigan, Harbor Point, on the water, and the surrounding areas. I learned so much about the area and felt like I was actually there.This engrossing tale tells the story of Rachel Winnapee, an Indian girl who is hired by The March Family Matriarch, Lydia, to work in their summer home, as a servant. The year is 1945, and The March's son Woody, is returning from WWII, woun [...]

    8. Bonnie

      A beautifully written novel by first-time author Terry Gamble. Rachel Winnapee, a sixteen-year Native American orphan girl, is sent to work for the wealthy March family at their summer home on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1945. Her world changes when she is asked by the matriarch to care for her son who was injured in the war. He lost his leg in the Pacific conflict and relies on Rachel for the morphine that dulls his pain and memory. Their relationship evoles into one of passion and the resul [...]

    9. Zhana

      'm really confused about this book. I don't really know if I like it or not. I liked the story but I feel that something in the writing style really put me off so I didn't really enjoy the book. I didn't like the characters and most of the times I was really annoyed by them. The main character - Rachel, was really strange and for some reason not very likeable. My favorite character in the book was Rory (in my imagination he was just so adoreable and cute), but he was not a well built character, [...]

    10. Louise

      This first novel was well worth the time. Rachel is an Odawa girl, orphaned and taken from her family to a convent school. Woody is a WWII vet returned from war without a leg or the spirit to start over. Rachel ends up working for his family and they fall in love. Then things fall apart. PTSD and forced acculturation are examined carefully and ultimately, we see that time may not heal all wounds but it can soften some of the effects.

    11. Carmen

      A kind of boring book. A Native American girl goes to work as a maid in a rich white household. The younger son comes back from war disabled and addicted to morphine. They have lots of sex. She gets pregnant. He marries a blonde, and she raises the son by herself. Later, she moves back and introduces them. He ends up dying (suicide?). Etc, etc.

    12. Connie

      Terry is a personal friend who grew up, summers, in the little town of Harbor Springs, Michigan where the novel takes place. It was fun to recognize people and places in the book, even though they had different names.

    13. Mum

      I felt as if I were looking at photos of the characters. Had I not read other books about this general time period and location, I would have abandoned the book after about ten pages. It was good, but not anywhere near great.

    14. Melinda

      Different from what I normally read, but held my interest. About Native American working for a wealthy family in Michigan. Not a particularly happy book, but still had to keep reading and would recommend it to someone interested in the American Indian culture.

    15. Clare

      A book filled with the rich families that arrive in the summer, war injuries, motivation to get better, and the results of mixing class.

    16. Patti

      Author is a graduate of University of Michigan. Takes place Up North on Lake Michigan in a great old house in the late 40's. Story of a Native American and a wealthy family.

    17. Sally

      Interesting story with Multi-generational implications. Loved the writer's style and the Michigan setting.

    18. Christina

      Only three stars because I thought the author tried too hard to make her points about the empty lives of the wealthy, the tragedy of wars, the bias against Native Americans

    19. Jennifer Townsend

      Very reminiscent of Jim Harrison, a favorite of mine. Loved it. Extra points for being set in northern lower Michigan. Wonderful and poignant.

    20. Bettie Nebergall

      Like a song heard in the morning, snatches of imagery from this story kept popping into my head long afterward.

    21. Sherry

      Fair read. Will provoke some good conversation regarding family, controlling your children and class issues. Can't wait until our book club gathering.

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