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When You Live by a River

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In Dark Water

The Ballantine
Publishing Group


First hardcover edition:
August 1998

First Paperback Edition:
May 1999

 

from the jacket cover:

In 1958, in a small town in upstate New York, the Buell family is falling apart. The sudden death of David, the only son, forever changes the bonds that connect them to one another and to the world. This is the story of Dorrie Buell, an intensely perceptive girl, trying to find her place in this charged, unpredictable landscape. With clarity and grace, in lush, beautiful prose, Mermer Blakeslee brilliantly captures the grief that can shatter an ordinary family. As her mother sinks into depression, eleven-year-old Dorrie, full of an unusual mix of grit and delicacy, sets out on her own. Armed with the imagined identity of a cowboy drifter, Dorrie finds kinship and refuge in the hilltop farm of the lively, eccentric Tappen family. Yet the deep currents of Dorrie’s life keep pulling her back toward her mother, toward the past that binds them, toward common ground. Luminous, profound, alive with the secret knowledge of childhood, In Dark Water is a stunning novel of one family’s trial and redemption.

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