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Water Witches Paperback – Apr 8 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (April 8 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684826127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684826127
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 16.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #511,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Some people say that my wife's sister is a witch. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this book much more "realistic" than "Midwives" I could relate to it! In fact, I was caught between reality and the book while I was reading it on a recent June visit to my daughter's in VT!! I actually kept forgetting that VT was NOT experiencing a drought while I was visiting!! Caught myself turning off the water while brushing my teeth, looking at the Winooski River for low levels, and observing the countryside in general for signs of "drought"!!
Chris Bohjalian is a master story teller in a "kinder and gentler" way!! His beautiful descriptions of the VT countryside, the numerous SMALL towns, and the life these people lead are exactly what I have encountered on my numerous visits to the state! But the really compelling story he tells is of the encroachment of business, homes, development on our beatiful and old New England towns. I live in one of these in CT. We have no beautiful catamounts as in Bohjalian's story, but the deer and bear in our area are being squeezed out by development! This is the case in a lot of New England. I could certainly relate to this story, but even people in inner-cities would certainly hate to see what little is left of our beautiful "country" destroyed! Where would they go on weekends to get OUT of the city? Bravo, Chris, for a beautiful story!!!!
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Format: Paperback
What a find! This is gorgeously written and heartfelt. The characters all are vividly painted and compelling. I loved the plot, the setting, and especially the voice of the narrator. I can't imagine NOT loving this story. Reading it in summer was blissful.
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By Theresa W on Oct. 1 2002
Format: Paperback
I love reading Chris Bohjalian. It is so much fun! And I seem to learn things in the process as well. A bonus. Every one of his books is about something so different & unique! This book has a little bit of everything, human struggle, morals, faith, love, hope, tragedy, confusion....I don't think this book, or any of Bohjalian's will let you down!
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By wordfiendca on Sept. 28 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful story. Scottie Winston is a man who is struggling with how his life came to serve corporate greed, how he can lie so easily for his clients' goals. He has become defensive about it, knowing that he isn't being true to himself and not knowing what to do about it. Eventually, he comes to a point where he has to choose between his job and his conscience.
The other part of this book that was interesting was the concept of dowsers. I had never heard of them before and I didn't know that there were people who spend their lives looking for water sources for others through a special gift.
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Format: Paperback
Having just read Robert L. Park's Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud, Chris Bohjalian's Water Witches came to my attention. The two books take completely different approaches. Voodoo Science is a non-fiction examination of extraordinary claims from a purely rational viewpoint; Water Witches is a fictional account of humanity's deep need to believe in the mystical. Read together, the two complement one another in a remarkable fashion (although surely Park would cringe to hear me say so), for after all, even if the rational mind ever is able to explain everything, it surely still will not satisfy our desire for the divine.
Divination or dowsing, not just hunting for water but seeking contact with an outer force, is the root of the mystical in Bohjalian's book, which pits this extraordinary force against not the rationality of science but the economic force of the modern businessman. Bohjalian is fair to both sides for the most part but certainly loads things in favor of the supernatural at the end. This I found to be the greatest flaw of the book--the dowser's power was so strong, so consistent and so universally recognized throughout the area that what should have been a matter of faith became instead matter-of-fact, and the vision that came with such difficulty to the main character will seem obvious to most readers well in advance. But the gentle story is attractive and the characters well drawn. The protagonist's journey from rationalist to believer was convincing within the context Bohjalian creates. Robert Park most likely wouldn't enjoy this book, and neither will real estate developers, action fans or seekers of the dark occult arts. But the rest of us are likely to find a lovely insight into what we hope is true.
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Format: Paperback
Chris Bohjalian's book, Water Witches, is a fascinating study of one Vermont family. Laura and her daughter Miranda are "water witches" - they are able to use rods, and their intuition, to advise people where to place wells so as to have clear, drinkable water in their homes. Laura's sister is also a dowser - however her power extends beyond water, and she is able to find lost items and people.
Scottie is married to Laura. After moving to Vermont, he took the highest-paid job he could find, as a lobbyist for the ski industry. While he has built a name for himself, this job has pitted him against environmental activists. However, Scottie finds himself in a bind when his current employer, Powder Peak, wants to build new trails and tap a depleted river for water to make snow. Scottie, however, becomes a reluctant convert to the environmentalists' point of view when he spies a catamount, an endangered Vermont mountain, where the ski resort was planning on placing the trails. He must wrestle with himself and his commitments to do the right thing.
The ending of the story is incredibly powerful, and winds these two tales together with astonishing grace.
Overall, this book is highly recommended for fans of Bohjalian's other books, including Midwives, and readers who are interested in the often delicate balance between environmental preservation and economic growth.
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