Reading guide for Water, Carry Me by Thomas Moran

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Water, Carry Me

A Love Story

by Thomas Moran

Water, Carry Me by Thomas Moran X
Water, Carry Me by Thomas Moran
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2000, 269 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2001, 270 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Introduction

From award-winning author Thomas Moran comes the breathtaking story of a young woman's betrayal, a haunting portrait of the extraordinary beauty and inexorable violence of a divided Ireland.

Thomas Moran made his impressive literary debut only three years ago with The Man in the Box, winner of the Book-of-the-Month Club's Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction. The New Yorker compared The Man in the Box to the diary of Anne Frank, and the Los Angeles Times compared Thomas Moran to Elie Wiesel. On the heels of this success came what Booklist predicted would be "for many. . .the best book of the year." The World I Made for Her confirmed the depth and breadth of Moran's talent. "Now, to A Farewell to Arms and The English Patient," Time magazine harkened, "add another memorable star-crossed Red Cross romance."

And now, in what will surely be his most acclaimed novel yet, Tom Moran's spare, piercing language effortlessly carries us to the harbor towns of southern Ireland. Una Moss is a bright, young medical student struggling for independence from the world of her family's secret loyalties. Aidan Ferrel is the man who wins her love, the stranger she chooses to trust. Water Carry Me is the story of a singular love pitted against the power of political passion—the chronicle of a young woman's journey from innocence to betrayal, across the vivid brightness and darkness that is the heartbreaking landscape of her beloved Ireland.


Discussion Questions
  1. Una was told as a child that her parents died in a car accident. Over the years, she learned the truth: that they were killed by IRA terrorists. How do the ways in which Una's friends and her grandfather speak about her parents' involvement in the violence in Northern Ireland offer insight into the way many Irish people feel about The Troubles?

  2. The violence in Northern Ireland affects the lives of Moran's characters in the "sunny south," both directly and indirectly. How impervious are Una and her friends to the violence, on an emotional level and on a practical level?

  3. When Des and Mick are captured by the "Specials" from Dublin, Rawney's behavior changes distinctly. Is his paranoia justified? What does this fear foreshadow for Una's future?

  4. Una's overcoming her fear of the sea also marks, on some level, the end of her innocence. In what way might the title of the novel also be a metaphor for Una's attitude towards the less fortuitous events of her life?

  5. When Des is murdered, Una's survival instinct kicks in, and she sets out to make his death appear to be an accident. Why, then, do you think she goes to all of her friends and family, Aidan included, to gather information about the mysterious Colm O'Fearghail despite being warned against it? Do you think Una has cause to fear for her safety?

  6. Why do you think Una, despite the intelligence and savvy with which she conducts all other areas of her life, is so easily fooled by Aidan? Is it simply because of her love for him or is there another possible explanation?

  7. At the end of the novel, Una finds herself a victim of the tumultuous political climate of Ireland. In what way is Aidan also a victim of time and place? Do you think Aidan had a choice in making Una carry the semtex? Do you sense he hoped he could make it his last act -- the thing that might allow him to break free of his ties to the IRA and marry the woman he loves?

For information about other Penguin Readers Guides, please call the Penguin Marketing Department at (800) 778-6425, email at reading@penguinputnam.com or write to them at: Penguin Books, Marketing Department CC, Readers' Guides, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014-3657 Free Book Club Report

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Riverhead Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: American Prison
    American Prison
    by Shane Bauer
    After spending over two years in Iran's notorious Evin Prison for supposedly crossing the country's ...
  • Book Jacket: Small Fry
    Small Fry
    by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
    Small Fry is the debut memoir from Lisa Brennan-Jobs, long-time journalist and writer, and oldest ...
  • Book Jacket: The Winter Soldier
    The Winter Soldier
    by Daniel Mason
    Imagine the thousands of confounding cases doctors face routinely for which diagnoses are hard to ...
  • Book Jacket: Brother
    Brother
    by David Chariandy
    Brother is the brief, moving account of how a single, tragic moment in time can alter the course of ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

A crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    French Exit
    by Patrick deWitt

    A brilliant and darkly comic novel from bestselling author Patrick deWitt.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.