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In Dark Water

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In Dark Water

The Ballantine
Publishing Group

First hardcover edition:
August 1998

First Paperback Edition:
May 1999


“Mermer Blakeslee has written a novel of uncommon grace and soaring beauty. In Dark Water explores a family’s deepest grief and a young girl’s amazing journey toward understanding, reconciliation, and redemption. It is, in short, a triumph of the spirit.”

“Mermer Blakeslee writes with the intensity and mesmerizing voice of a Dorothy Allison or Mary Karr, but her story is wholly original. In her heartbreaking novel, there is a great deal of pain, but there are no villains. Indeed, the gift of the novel is the idea of deliverance: a young girl and her mother given back to one another through the unceasing devotion of the father and the stubborn intervention of unlikely (and fascinating) friends who know how to love. This book is at once familiar and utterly exotic, a foray into the strangeness of a child’s breakdown and the power of her intelligence and spirit. It is also one of the most generous novels I have ever read.”

In Dark Water is a heart-breakingly stark coming-of-age tale of grief, and ultimately, hard-earned redemption. Dorrie Buell is a classic character—possessing the pluck to survive, the imagination to reinvent her reality of pain, and the inner wisdom to navigate the perilous journey from hurt to healing. Blakeslee’s writing is pure poetry, reminds you at every turn of that simply magical way in which children see the world. That she captures this with such grace and clarity is proof that she’s a writer of immense and rare talent.”

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