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To Heaven by Water: Book summary and reviews of To Heaven by Water by Justin Cartwright

To Heaven by Water

by Justin Cartwright

To Heaven by Water by Justin Cartwright X
To Heaven by Water by Justin Cartwright
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  • Published Jul 2009
    320 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Now that his wife is dead, retired television news anchor, David Cross, believes that he is more himself than he has been for forty years. When Nancy was alive, he had secrets that he kept from her. Now he has a secret that he must keep from his children, Ed and Lucy, namely that he is in some ways happier now than he was when their mother was alive.

To Heaven by Water is a touching and hilarious portrait of the Cross family, trying in their own fashion to come to terms with their loss. David knows that his children are perplexed by his increasingly compulsive behavior while Ed's marriage to the lovely Rosalie, a former ballet dancer, is suffering strain, and Lucy is being stalked by her ex-boyfriend. Both children worry that their father will soon find a new partner. Over all three of them hangs the memory of Nancy. The book opens as David is taking time out with his brother in the Kalahari Desert, re-living his tumultuous and uplifting memories of Rome where he worked on a film with Richard Burton. Back home in London, Ed is trying to balance his affair with a young woman in his office with his real love for his wife, who is unable to conceive the child she longs for. And Lucy, who has just been voted No. 6 in the Evening News section devoted to beautiful and brainy women, is a young woman in pursuit of her real self.

To Heaven by Water is a wonderful story of friendship, forgiveness and of love that comes from unexpected directions; it is an exploration of what we might hope for from this life and. in particular. the possibility of transcendence. Into the beautifully observed and subtly composed texture of this tale of middle-class London life, Justin Cartwright weaves sudden shocks that tear it apart, moments of sex and revenge that appear from a cloudless sky to take the reader's breath away.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"There is always a neatness about Cartwright's novels - no loose ends - and this one is no exception; he answers the beginning's questions with the conclusion's logic, though there have been unexpected shifts along the way. It's not a morality tale; it refuses easy judgment beyond the one that Cartwright's characters would be advised to take very seriously indeed: be careful what you wish for." - The Guardian

"Starred Review. There's not a wasted word or a false emotion in this elegant, meditative work from a mature master." - Kirkus Reviews

"Cartwright chronicles the long, torturous journey of souls with a knowing grace and a fine novelistic control that avoids the easy way out." - Publishers Weekly

This information about To Heaven by Water was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Justin Cartwright

Justin Cartwright's novels include the Booker-shortlisted In Every Face I Meet, the Whitbread Novel Award-winner Leading the Cheers and the acclaimed White Lightning, shortlisted for the 2002 Whitbread Novel Award, The Promise of Happiness, winner of the 2005 Hawthorden Prize and, most recently, the acclaimed The Song Before It Is Sung. He was born in South Africa and lives in London.

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