By turns wry and heart-rending, this first novel by up-and-coming
North Carolina writer Nancy Peacock takes the form of an
unvarnished reminiscence of growing up during the cultural
craziness of the late '60s and early '70s. Life Without Water parts
the heavy curtain drawn closed by the Reagan era and takes us back
to the summer of love, to a country convulsed by Vietnam, to a
generation in search of itself. With the clear-eyed honesty only
the very young are capable of, Cedar recounts the story of her
childhood in a ramshackle farmhouse in the country outside of
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a household shared - in the fashion of
the times - by two adult couples and their three children. In
particular, it is the story of Cedar and her mother, Sara, and
young Cedar's unflagging - and largely unsuccessful - efforts to
help Sara repair the emotional damage done by the death of her
beloved brother in Vietnam.
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