Listen for Water

Listen for Water begins by following a young teen named Dakota Starr who is having a strange dream about a fish and a drumbeat. She then returns to the real world, but the drumbeat follows her. What she managed to forget about for a second in her dream was her poor living conditions. Sharing a government-funded apartment with her deadbeat mother Ray, who she doesn’t even call mother. All her mother does is play video games and schlep around the house, leaving Dakota to fend for herself. All while trying to find enough money to buy food and attending improvisational dance lessons at her local Indigenous dance school. The story takes a drastic turn when Ray wanders into a moving truck. Dakota follows her inside, but they are closed in before she can convince Ray to come out. This begins an epic emotional journey that will change both of them, and their relationship, forever.

This is an impassioned coming-of-age story that explores addiction and family. What I really enjoyed about this poignant novel was the way in which it reversed the mother-daughter role while still showing the force of family and how it permeates our lives. But where other novels may make light of a child caring for a family this novel handles it in a substantive way. Dakota is forced to spend time with a mother that she hates, while her mother loves her like a daughter, even though Ray never provided for her like a mother would. They have an interesting dynamic and their relationship is the highlight of the novel, and one that readers will be thinking about long after they put the book down. Through the story, the two characters get to know each other for the first time, while also making new discoveries about one another and themselves. In a way I think this story is a character study; of two characters. And a dissection of a troubled relationship. I found it all immensely compelling.

This book will resonate with anyone facing similar issues as Dakota as the story is grounded and the emotions feel authentic. The author really plants the reader in Dakota’s head, not just through the first person perspective, but also by using words a girl Dakota’s age would use, even if they’re incorrect or made up. Novels often make their young characters seem older then they are. While Dakota needs to be older, given her situation, she still seems like the child she is supposed to be. This makes her character relatable and readers are able to empathize with her more. The characters and the writing alone make Listen for Water worth the read. I highly recommend it to any book club looking for an emotionally-resonant and evocative coming-of-age tale.

Pages: 341 | ASIN: B09XKP8HQ2

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About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on November 27, 2022, in Book Reviews, Five Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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