The Watery Part of the World
I recently finished up Michael Parker's The Watery Part of the World and this novel truly makes for the perfect read. It's engrossing and intelligent, entertaining but backed with substance. The at-times haunting story takes place on a small barrier island off the coast of North Carolina and spans several generations of the island's residents.
Our first introduction is to Theodosia Burr who finds herself shipwrecked on the island in the early 1800s. The daughter of Aaron Burr, Theo led a life of wealth, high society, and leisure until her voyage to New York turned awry. Theo's days turn laborious and primitive as she succumbs, with relative ease for reasons I won't reveal, to her new island life.
Over a century later, we meet the three last residents of the barrier island, Woodrow, Maggie, and Miss Whaley. The later are a pair of sisters, stubborn as mules and hardly pleasant company for Woodrow, a quiet but certain black man whose heart is pure beneath his rather stony demeanor. Though their life on the island is far from conventional, they aren't primitive either as the island was once home to a thriving modern community.
These are just the bones of this mysterious and compelling story told over a span of 150 years through four different narrators. Parker's characters are truly and deeply drawn, while the tale that binds them is a captivating one of family, love, and community. I highly recommend The Watery Part of the World for occasions of all sorts. Absorbing enough to make for a good beach read but backed with enough of a story to read anytime, Parker's novel comes highly recommended by this blogger and a wide array of far more reputable reviewers too!
at 10:41 AM