The Water Man's Daughter Paperback – May 10 2011
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"[An] assured debut . . . beautifully tense . . . at heart a morality tale."
"Ruby-Sachs brings her setting and its cast vibrantly to life: the parching heat, night-time chills, the dirt tracks and clinging Soweto dust, the families living in near-poverty yet touchingly house-proud, while their civic officials boast charmless mansions and giant plasma TVs. . . . [The final] 40 pages . . . gather up the story's themes and plot strands in ways completely unexpected, and exhilarating."
—Globe and Mail
"Ruby-Sachs has set herself an impressive agenda for a first novel . . . most notably her ripped-from-the headlines plot, authentic setting, and lively dialogue sprinkled with Zulu words and phrases."
"[An] impressive debut. . . . Plays like a classic whodunit, but its mystery involves how much we really know about others -- especially those people we think we know best."
—Quill & Quire
About the Author
EMMA RUBY-SACHS's journalism has been published in The Nation and The Huffington Post. A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Toronto law school, Ruby-Sachs lived in South Africa for periods in 2003 and 2004 while studying. She has worked as a civil litigator in Windsor and Toronto and currently works with Avaaz, a progressive online organization. Emma lives in Brooklyn.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
It is the story of a Canadian, Peter Matthews who is CEO of a controversial water privatization project who after arriving in South Africa is murdered. His 21 year old daughter Claire comes to South Africa determined to find out what happened to her father. Zembe Afrika, a policewoman is in charge of the investigation and wants Claire out of her way. She pressures a young anti-privatization activist, Nomsulwato to be Claire's escort. Gradually both women find themselves drawn together in spite of their differences.
This book is very well written and holds your interest from beginning to end.
I enjoyed this book immensely and can highly recommend it.
When Claire, "the water man's daughter," arrives in grief to seek answers about her father's killing, Nomsulwa, as a return favour to the police, acts as a diversionary local host. And, with Mira and his gang among the murder suspects, plot lines develop and intersect. As Nomsulwa attempts to reconcile her disdain for corporate North America with her growing sympathy for Claire, the two women bond over the realities of loss and oppression.
Ruby-Sachs creates a vibrant setting and finely evokes most of her characters; parching heat, nightly chills, and lingering dust enhance the juxtaposition between house-proud families living poverty and civic officials in charmless mansions. Nomsulwa comes across as three-dimensional, proactive and relatable whereas, ironically, Claire emerges as the weakest character: confused, naive and flaky.
Despite lapses in realism, such as major oversights by Johannesburg's police homicide squad and extremely lax hotel security, "The Water Man's Daughter" ultimately ties together themes and plot lines in unexpected, exhilarating ways that manage to eschew complete redemption in favour of highlighting the human cost of systemic inequity.
Ruby-Sachs's sympathies are with her South African characters: they are vividly and believably presented.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Set against the backdrop of post Apartheid South Africa, The Water Man's Daughter tells the story of a murdered Canadian water company employee whose death sparks a high profile... Read morePublished on July 6 2012 by Mary Lavers (in Canada)
This was a well thought out book. I enjoyed the setting and the characters although I felt that both cod have been created with more depth. Read morePublished on June 6 2012 by Jj
The story concept was different and it held my interest fairly well, just was not a page turner. I did not find that I particularly connected or liked any of the characters.Published on Sept. 4 2011 by K