- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Bantam (March 2, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553379291
- ISBN-13: 978-0553379297
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,524,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Life Without Water Paperback – March 2, 1998
See the Best Books of 2018
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
From the Inside Flap
kind of book that you read, love and then give to a friend saying, "You have to read this...
In a powerful and acute debut, highly acclaimed author Nancy Peacock gives us a young narrator who is both knowing and innocent, trusting and fearful: a girl named Cedar, who reflects on her childhood in the wake of the Vietnam war. As she and her young mother Sara both come of age, Cedar explores the intense bond--and discovers the boundaries--of their mother-daughter relationship. Living as hippies in an abandoned farmhouse in North Carolina, Sara and Cedar survive a number of romantic and domestic misadventures, first with Cedar's father Sol, and later with a group of friends living together in a commune-style home. Lyrical, bittersweet and utterly unforgettable, Life Without Water uniquely captures this time--and its joys, hazards, complexities and disappointments.
Showing 1-6 of 18 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Sara’s brother Jimmie is killed in Vietnam, thus changing the course of her life. Depressed and needy, she meets Sol at a party, a man who’s looking for the right person to be the mother of his child. Cedar is the child, and the story is told from her perspective.
Before Cedar’s birth, Sol and Sara find a three-story abandoned house in North Carolina, and they live there for four years. It’s the center of Sol’s drug operation and was dubbed Two Moons. Eventually Sara tires of Sol’s behavior, and one day she and Sara escape in the van. In Arizona, she meets Daniel, a man who invites them to live with him in his girlfriend’s house. The girlfriend is away for three months. When Sara and Cedar leave, he leaves with them, and back they go to Two Moons.
Sara and Cedar’s return trip to Two Moons is the most gripping part of the novel (to me). Friends and children come to live with them, Baby Roo is born, and everything seems wonderful. Then enters Topaz, a lovely young woman who literally tears their idyllic world apart.
No more spoilers. Through her scene descriptions, superb dialogue, and character sketches, the author reminds us of several truths, including Robert Frost’s “It goes on” response to a query about what he’d learned about life. Peacock also reminds the reader that one event can change the direction of one’s life and that people and their memories affect us even after they’re gone—and even if you’ve never met them (like Cedar and Jimmie). And lest I forget, family relationships can be tricky, yet powerful.
If you want to read a book that engages all your senses and touches your heart, sometimes in uncomfortable ways, read this book. I’ll never see an abandoned house without thinking of Sara and the courage it took to live her own life.
Cedar's earliest memories of life is that of her parents, Sol and Sara. Her father wasn't even called "Dad", but was always Sol, his real name being Albert Massey. Her parents weren't married, and when her mother gave birth to Cedar, they had a midwife.
And so Cedar was born in their own home which they named TWO MOONS. Their home was in an isolated area in North Carolina, complete with barns and an outhouse. Cedar, who knew no other life than this, did not know that they were not part of conventional society.
A few years after Cedar was born her mother, frustrated with Sol who was turning into a very irresponsible husband and father, took Sara away from Two Moons and they lived on the road for a long while. After much travelling, they meet Daniel, and after a few months of living with him in his girlfriend's house (the girlfriend, by the way, was not expected to return for a few months), the three of them move on back to Two Moons, and are joined by old friends of Sara's, Woody and Elaine, and their two children Roxy and Norther. For a few years, they all live together in a type of commune setting, and Cedar's memories of these years are happy and warm.
Trouble starts with the entrance of another person at the commune, Topaz. The reader is led to believe that Topaz spells bad news, and we are right. What happens from this point on I won't reveal, but life at the Two Moons does not continue idyllically forever.
I was very impressed with Nancy Peacock's first published novel, LIFE WITHOUT WATER. Although this novel is very short, Ms Peacock was able to successfully invoke a feeling of nostalgia for a time long gone. She paints life among the hippies as a happy simple life, and I found myself longing for those days. My only complaint of this book, specifically the edition that I bought, is the back cover summary of the book. It is somewhat misleading and I feel inaccurately summarizes the book.
Do yourself a favor and read the book for what it is: a trip down memory lane, of a time of innocence amidst the backdrop of a turbulent war (Vietnam). It was a crossroads for many of that generation.
What I love about the book is that Cedar remembers communal life exactly like I do. The descriptions of the people and places are so familiar that I feel like I was there. Her viewpoint is both colorful and authentic.
Whether or not you ever set foot on a commune, used an outhouse, or hauled water from a spring, Life Without Water is a fresh novel that you will read more than once.