All the Water in the World by Karen Raney
Published by Scribner
Released August 6, 2019
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Note: I received a free ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinions.
Karen Raney’s All the Water in the World isn’t the sort of book that I would normally pick up, but I am so glad to have read it, even though it’s heartbreaking.
The novel is told from two perspectives – Eve and her daughter Maddy. Maddy is a teenager and was diagnosed with cancer around a year prior to the start of her story. The story is partly about Maddy making the most of the time left to her and living as much as she can, and also about a mother’s grief.
Maddy’s father, Antonio, left before she was born, and she’s never met him. With the help of her grandfather, she locates him online and they begin emailing one another back and forth.
This book was wonderful. Karen Raney’s writing is smooth and beautiful, although not flowery. Within the first couple of chapters, I found that I was already committed to the characters and their lives, which is rare for me in contemporary fiction.
Both Maddy and Eve feel very real. It’s hard to imagine going through an illness and handling it as well as Maddy does in the story, and I know it’s something that, unfortunately, many people deal with every day. Her mother Eve’s love for her daughter and strength in dealing with the situation shows how much her daughter means to her, and I also cannot fathom watching a child go through the trauma of an advanced form of cancer. They’re both vulnerable and brave at the same time.
This book is definitely a tearjerker, but there are plenty of light and uplifting moments to make it a little less devastating. When I first received the book, the cover made me think that the story would be a light summer read. It’s definitely not, but I’m so glad at what I learned and discovered between the covers of this novel.