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The Season of Open Water: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Dawn Tripp
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $24.95
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $13.96 (56%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

BONUS: This edition contains a The Season of Open Water discussion guide and an excerpt from Dawn Tripp's Game of Secrets.

From the critically acclaimed author of Moon Tide comes a mesmerizing novel of love and violence, family and betrayal. The Season of Open Water is the passionate, searing story of a young woman coming of age in a New England seacoast town that is swept up in the dangerous trade of rum-running.

It is October 1927. Bridge Weld is nineteen, headstrong and beautiful, working in her grandfather Noel's boatbuilding shop. When Noel is approached by a local bootlegger to refit a boat for smuggling, he feels in his gut that he should not accept the work, yet he takes the job for the money it offers and for the chance it gives him to build a future for his beloved granddaughter, Bridge, and her brother, Luce. What Noel doesn’t count on is that Luce will be lured into the rum work himself and will try to pull Bridge into it with him.

But Bridge has embarked on a different course. Caught up in a passion for Henry, a veteran of World War I, Bridge is propelled beyond the confines of her known world, and ultimately she must choose between the man who loves her and the brother to whom she has been loyal all her life. As Bridge strikes out on her own, Luce's fierce attachment spirals out of control.

Exquisitely written, haunting in its rendering of place, The Season of Open Water is a superb novel about a family and the lawlessness of the heart, a love story that explores the often inescapable connections between violence and desire.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in a coastal New England town caught up in the Prohibition-era rum-running trade, Tripp's second novel (after Moon Tide) illuminates the period's dark underbelly as it explores a family forever changed by the allure of its precarious prosperity. Written from alternating perspectives, the book opens with a flashback to Noel Dowd's whaling days, nearly 60 years earlier, though the bulk of the story belongs to his willful and fiercely independent grandchildren, Bridge and Luce. The brother and sister share an unusually close relationship, approached only by the bond between Bridge and her grandfather. The siblings' relationship is put to the test as 18-year-old Bridge grows closer to Henry Vonniker, a former doctor shattered by the horrors of World War I, and Luce becomes embroiled with Honey Lyons, a local rum-running kingpin. Meanwhile, Noel, with the help of his former shipmate Rui, invests his entire savings in stocks, oblivious to the impending market collapse and the devastating depression that will sweep the nation. While Tripp's impressive research and attention to detail add to the story's heft, the creeping pace of her narrative can undermine the novel's passion and intensity. However, this restraint allows the reader ample time to savor Tripp's elegantly crafted characters, whose joys, sorrows and humanity far outweigh the excitement of a boat chase or the thrill of a romantic encounter. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this story of a three-generation family in the late 1920s in a Massachusetts seacoast town, Tripp proves that she is no one-book wonder after her well-received debut Moon Tide (2003). There the foreboding came from a pending hurricane; here it's human-made, from the stock-market crash and--mostly--from the effects of Prohibition. Widower Noel, once a whaler, now builds boats; his daughter, Cora, a widow, takes in laundry; and her son, Luce, a born risk taker, gives up his ice trade for rum running, enticing his sister, Bridge, to work some jobs with him. The current between Bridge and Henry Vonniker, a doctor so damaged by the world war that he now manages a mill, eventually brings them together, despite differences in age and class, before Bridge joins Luce on one last job. Tripp's spare language is particularly appropriate to this time and place; she finds verbs that etch themselves into a reader's memory--waves "scour" in, light "chaps" the surface of the ocean--and her plot unfolds with both surprises and what seems inevitable. Michele Leber
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 591 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,590 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this finest-kind novel November 6, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
From the reviews here it's apparent folk love or hate this novel. Color me in the love category over and over again, then roll me over for more. This brilliant novel is one of those for which the word "spellbinding" is made -- the story, plot, language, exquisite sense of place and time, exquisite texture, gorgeous weave, and a hefty measure of soul. Read it soon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking Prose September 11, 2005
Tripp has done it again! This time in Westport Point, a place described with such exactness, just as in her first memorable novel, Moon Tide, it's a character in an of itself, we meet three generations of beachside inhabitants, beginning with Noel, a former whaler, who's had to readjust for economic reasons and build boats instead of chase whales. The family becomes entangled in the illegal dealings of the rum trade, during Prohibition and everyone's integrity and definition of a just survival is challenged. In addtion to the aptly evoked historical context, there's an undercurrent of seeking true love despite the constraints of class. Tripp gives the reader a rich,texturted story with characters who linger in the reader's mind long after the last word is read. Can't wait for her next novel!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars riveting historical novel July 6, 2005
This is a beautifully written and well researched novel. It is very difficult to write absorbing novels set in historical periods, yet Dawn Tripp has managed to do just that. She brings the period of rum running alive while engaging the reader with the story of Bridge and her love affair with Henry Vonniker, the shell-shocked doctor from a wealthy family. Anyone who knows this area of Massachusetts knows what an accurate depiction this is of a coastal community with long-time families from many different social levels and backgrounds. But what I really find takes this novel up another notch is the rich descriptions of people in the context of what they are doing, whether digging for clams, building boats, escaping in a rum runner from the Coast Guard, planting vegetables or eating dinner at the local Grange. The author also has deep insights into how the difference in social backgrounds affects the love affair of Bridge and Henry. And how economic pressures and the taste of adventure draw locals into the dangerous world of rum running. Not many writers today have this deep sense of place. Too many modern novels are all talk, have cliche characters and do not seem to be rooted in a definite locale. Anyone who likes language, complex characters and history will find it an absorbing read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart and Mind August 18, 2005
By Marie
A wonderful book to follow Moon Tide. Setting becomes a character in this moving and evocative novel of love and loss. So much here is original and well-felt--the characters, the conflicts, the language and descriptions. Each scene is so visual, so poignant, so artfully rendered. There is never a doubt that we are in the hands of an accomplished writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, I read into the wee hours on this one! April 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading "Berlin Letters" I read this "Season of Open Water". Now I was reading about the Nazis in Budapest". Again a different prospective on the civilian life under fire in WWII. This is a sensational book. I couldn't wait to finish and find out the ending and then I was devastated that the book ended. I wanted more of Catharine and Sandor in Israel. I will look to Dawn Tripps next book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding Historical Fiction March 14, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Set in 1927 on the New England coast, Season of Open Water is the story of one family's involvement in rum-running during Prohibition. It begins at the funeral of a local boy who got in over his head with the wrong sort. All too soon, however, the lure of money blows the impact of his death away on the ocean winds, and the decision of a grandfather to outfit a boat for smuggling alcohol opens a path into crime for his grandchildren, Luce and Bridge Weld.

Teenagers Luce and Bridge are inseparably close. Raised by a single mother and a fisherman grandfather, they are allowed freedom for hunting, fishing, and adventures. Luce's hot head and recklessness lead him into dealings with rum-runners. He is soon in over his head, and his only hope is that his cool, capable, fearless sister, Bridge, can help him stay afloat.

Bridge's loyalty to Luce is tested when she begins to fall in love with a local doctor and WWI veteran, whose past prevents him from embracing the present. As they find each other, danger, violence, and jealousy are a constant threat.

Season of Open Water is an outstanding novel, and Tripp is a gifted writer. Her words rise off the page and allow the reader to get lost in the past. Her knack for historical detail and for revealing the psychology of her characters makes for rich, layered reading. Her novel is unique and timeless, and would make a perfect book club selection.

Heartbreaking, compelling, and fascinating, Season of Open Water stands out as prize-worthy historical fiction. If you enjoy intense novels of desire and betrayal, you will love Season of Open Water.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but bleak...
Dawn Clifton tripp can write, there is no denying that. The books opening told from the grandfather Noel's perspective of his day fishing aboard a whaler is exquisite. Read more
Published on June 10, 2008 by Kathleen Valentine
2.0 out of 5 stars Well-written froma literary sense, but I hated the plot!
While this book is well written from a literary sense, I did not find the characters realistic (there was virtually no real communication between any of them, and everyone just had... Read more
Published on March 6, 2006 by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and gripping
I loved this book. Tripp does a fantastic job of establishing time and place - it's a great look at a small, isolated New England town during the prohibition era. Read more
Published on July 6, 2005 by Kim Wright Wiley
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Historical Novel. A Gem. Great Summer Read
Not sure I read the same book the other reviewers did. I found Tripp's 2nd novel even better than her first. Read more
Published on June 28, 2005 by T. Strider
1.0 out of 5 stars Neede more
Usually I like a challenging book- it makes me feel a tiny bit superior to celebrity culture of most books one finds lining the bookshelves. Read more
Published on June 21, 2005 by Sarah Loves Books
2.0 out of 5 stars A Turn of phase to the contrary
Being a reader who likes historical novels with lyrical prose, I was sure this would be a great read. To the contrary, it was a tedious journey to nowhere. Read more
Published on June 21, 2005 by tim smittee
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