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Water, Carry Me

Moran, Thomas

190 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0749004908 / ISBN 13: 9780749004903
Published by Riverhead Books, 2000
Used Condition: Good
From Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Water, Carry Me

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Publication Date: 2000

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 1st.

About this title


From the award-winning author of The Man in the Box and The World I Made for Her comes the breathtaking story of a young woman's betrayal, set against the beauty and violence of a divided Ireland.


Entrapment is a recurring theme in the art of Thomas Moran. His first novel, The Man in the Box, concerns a Jew hiding from Nazis in a secret, boxlike room in an Austrian farmer's barn. His next, The World I Made for Her, features a protagonist imprisoned within his own disease-ravaged body. In Water, Carry Me, Moran expands beyond physical constraints to explore the greatest trap of all: love. When we first meet Una Moss, she is in her final year of medical school in Ireland. Orphaned at the age of 8, she has grown up uneasily straddling two worlds: that of her working-class grandfather, Rawney, with whom she lives in a village outside of Cork, and the upper-class milieu of private school and moneyed friends. Early in the novel Moran hints at the political themes that will soon enmesh her: Rawney, a railroad engineer, frequently carries mysterious crates "all the way to Sligo, up near the Ulster border," and boasts of his "dangerous friends." In reality, though, his friends are more endangered than dangerous: Mungo, the fisherman who occasionally brings strange packages ashore in his boat, is the victim of a mysterious shipwreck; Des and Mick, who help load the contraband, are both picked up by the police, only to reappear weeks later with "a hole in their lives, an awful, secret space, a haunting."

Indeed everyone in Moran's novel is haunted in some way by the conflict in Northern Ireland. Una herself was orphaned because of her father's involvement with one side or the other:

The violence is like a virus moving invisibly through our blood, the IRA and the Ulster Defense Association the Typhoid Marys of it. It kills some, and deadens the hearts of the rest of us. Nobody but idiots--and the mad fanatics--are immune.
Neither, it turns out, is Una. Though at first she manages to lead a fairly normal life--going to school, spending time with her friends, and even falling in love with charming Aidan Ferrel--eventually the Troubles engulf her, too, and it is love that proves to be her undoing. In the haunting, heartbreaking Water, Carry Me Moran weaves the political and the personal into a net so subtle that his characters don't know they've been caught in it until it's too late. --Alix Wilber

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