I listened to Cutting for Stone, Verghese’s second novel, way back in 2009. It’s hard to believe a novel that good, that lyrical, could be only his second. The story stuck with me like no other book I’ve ever read. So, when I saw that his third novel, The Covenant of Water, had been released, I added it to my queue with some trepidation. I suspected the story would be as good, if not even better than the first, and that I would be very affected by the tale. And that it would take some time to recover. I was, of course, right. Like Cutting for Stone, the story was a family saga rich with emotional and cultural detail. Set in the early to mid 20th century against a backdrop of political turmoil and natural disasters, not every part of the novel had happy endings. It’s hard to read, hard to listen to, because there is no way one cannot be affected. Yet, in the end, the most predominant message is love and the triumph of the human spirit. I recommend readers visit the author’s website https://www.abrahamverghese.org/ for his additional insight and his glossary of terms. I love this book. It is good for the soul. #23for23

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