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After the loss of her young son, Carver, an African-American preacher’s wife named Delilah Evans moves with her family from Montgomery, Alabama, to Sinking Creek, Pennsylvania, for a fresh start. The last thing she could have imagined was becoming friends with Emma Mullet, a reclusive Amish woman. Emma is fighting personal battles of her own and feels estranged from her sma After the loss of her young son, Carver, an African-American preacher’s wife named Delilah Evans moves with her family from Montgomery, Alabama, to Sinking Creek, Pennsylvania, for a fresh start. The last thing she could have imagined was becoming friends with Emma Mullet, a reclusive Amish woman. Emma is fighting personal battles of her own and feels estranged from her small Amish community. The secrets that have kept her isolated from her own community serve to unite her in an unlikely friendship with Delilah. Sparrow, Delilah’s eldest daughter, knows she is responsible for the death of her little brother. When tensions at home become unbearable, she seeks solace at Emma’s house, becoming the surrogate daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could sever all ties to her safe refuge. Life for these three gets harder when church and social issues confront them, causing rifts within Sinking Creek’s three distinct communities: whites, blacks, and Amish. When their carefully protected secrets come to light, there seems to be little hope for friendship, restoration, or even forgiveness. But when the unthinkable happens, Delilah and Emma find themselves looking into the mirror of their own self-deceptions and are forced to make a choice that will set the way of their future.


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After the loss of her young son, Carver, an African-American preacher’s wife named Delilah Evans moves with her family from Montgomery, Alabama, to Sinking Creek, Pennsylvania, for a fresh start. The last thing she could have imagined was becoming friends with Emma Mullet, a reclusive Amish woman. Emma is fighting personal battles of her own and feels estranged from her sma After the loss of her young son, Carver, an African-American preacher’s wife named Delilah Evans moves with her family from Montgomery, Alabama, to Sinking Creek, Pennsylvania, for a fresh start. The last thing she could have imagined was becoming friends with Emma Mullet, a reclusive Amish woman. Emma is fighting personal battles of her own and feels estranged from her small Amish community. The secrets that have kept her isolated from her own community serve to unite her in an unlikely friendship with Delilah. Sparrow, Delilah’s eldest daughter, knows she is responsible for the death of her little brother. When tensions at home become unbearable, she seeks solace at Emma’s house, becoming the surrogate daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could sever all ties to her safe refuge. Life for these three gets harder when church and social issues confront them, causing rifts within Sinking Creek’s three distinct communities: whites, blacks, and Amish. When their carefully protected secrets come to light, there seems to be little hope for friendship, restoration, or even forgiveness. But when the unthinkable happens, Delilah and Emma find themselves looking into the mirror of their own self-deceptions and are forced to make a choice that will set the way of their future.

30 review for The Solace of Water

  1. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    This book hurts. It pierced my soul on every page and gripped me as my own world soon became interwoven with Emma, Delilah, and Sparrow. The gentle, yet straight-forward way this book was written gripped me and it is not a book I will soon forget. Without the promise of redemption and salvation, this book would have been awful to me. It's why I can give it a higher rating and smile that the end brought solace. Solace in Jesus' cleansing. Wow, such a strong message of redemption! You have to wade t This book hurts. It pierced my soul on every page and gripped me as my own world soon became interwoven with Emma, Delilah, and Sparrow. The gentle, yet straight-forward way this book was written gripped me and it is not a book I will soon forget. Without the promise of redemption and salvation, this book would have been awful to me. It's why I can give it a higher rating and smile that the end brought solace. Solace in Jesus' cleansing. Wow, such a strong message of redemption! You have to wade through this book, really. There is muck, there is heartache, there is sin, there are details. It's why it hurts. I've seen how sin so easily besets my own soul, and although I have not experienced all the pain these characters went through, I know how it feels to be dragged down by guilt. But whether we are saved or unsaved, Christ brings hope. And this hope came to life in Emma, Delilah, and Sparrow's lives when repentance came to their souls. Their stories were real and deep and I loved all three of them on the same level. There never was a moment that I wanted to read one story over another. The sweetness of their relationships are bittersweet and beautiful! I highly recommend this book to adult young ladies (warning to younger readers...I would not recommend due to mature subjects). There are details of drunkness, talk of being undressed, some mentions of intimacy in marriage, some kissing, and lots and lots of pain. It is not a book for the faint-hearted, but there is hope and a happy ending. This book might hurt, but its message is strong and real for anyone today. *I received this book from Thomas Nelson publishing in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    Delilah Evans is not a bit happy about the move from Montgomery in the south to Pennsylvania. It means leaving behind the grave of her son Carver. But her preacher husband Malachi wants to return to his hometown. Delilah’s and Malachi’s’ eldest daughter Sparrow is grieving the loss of her brother too. More so, since both she and her mother hold her responsible for Carver’s death. Sparrow feels her life is destined never to get better. But then she meets the Amish neighbour, Emma Mullet. Emma has Delilah Evans is not a bit happy about the move from Montgomery in the south to Pennsylvania. It means leaving behind the grave of her son Carver. But her preacher husband Malachi wants to return to his hometown. Delilah’s and Malachi’s’ eldest daughter Sparrow is grieving the loss of her brother too. More so, since both she and her mother hold her responsible for Carver’s death. Sparrow feels her life is destined never to get better. But then she meets the Amish neighbour, Emma Mullet. Emma has her own secrets and troubles that she and her deacon husband John are at pains to hide from the rest of the Amish community. Their son Johnny too is becoming a bit of a problem. Can these two families find common ground despite their differences in colour and religion? Can past events and secrets held for years ever really stay buried? If they exposed, what then? This is told in three voices, that of Delilah, known to friends as Deedee, her teenage daughter Sparrow and the Amish Emma. They are each clearly distinguishable. As events unfold it is easy to relate to Sparrow and Emma, even while not agreeing with some of their choices. A bit harder getting on board with Delilah given her attitude towards Sparrow, in particular but also others. This is definitely a character driven story and the characters are well defined. I felt their pain. I admit I picked this book initially on the strength of its beautiful cover. It is a story of grief, secrets, family dynamics and friendship, which covers topics like alcoholism, self-harm, racism and differing beliefs along the way. It is a harsh story in so many ways yet eminently readable. Definitely a book that pulls the emotions into all sorts of areas. Set in the mid-1950s it presents a picture of harsh lives and the problems faced by grief, anger and secrets. I have not read any other books by this author but on the strength of this one, would be keen to try another. A recommended read that may well have you reaching for tissues more than once along the way. Water plays an effective part throughout this story. A heartbreaker of a story but worth the read. This would be excellent for a book club as it contains discussion questions at the end.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    The Solace of Water is an emotionally charged, captivating work of historical fiction. Set in the turbulent 1950's, this is the story of an African American woman and a white Amish woman and their unlikely friendship. Delilah, a preachers wife, has just moved with her family from Alabama to a little town in Pennsylvania for a fresh start after the death of their little boy. Her new neighbor Emma lives the Amish lifestyle yet harbors many secrets. Also told in the perspective of Sparrow, Delilahs The Solace of Water is an emotionally charged, captivating work of historical fiction. Set in the turbulent 1950's, this is the story of an African American woman and a white Amish woman and their unlikely friendship. Delilah, a preachers wife, has just moved with her family from Alabama to a little town in Pennsylvania for a fresh start after the death of their little boy. Her new neighbor Emma lives the Amish lifestyle yet harbors many secrets. Also told in the perspective of Sparrow, Delilahs oldest daughter, this is a heartbreaking story of loss, love, pain, and forgiveness. I loved getting lost in this time period. This was the first book that I can recall that shows the Amish perspective of the racial tension and I found it fascinating. The Amish were so isolated in their community that while big events were happening in the South (Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King for example), the Amish community were unaware. Emma and her community know about the racial tensions happening in their little town and I enjoyed getting their perspective of it. I loved this story, I loved the friendship as it developed between these women, I loved the insight from Sparrow. For me, The Solace of Water was ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars (rounded up from 4.5). Thank you @thomasnelson for this advance reader in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Delilah Evans has recently buried her young son and is drowning in her grief. Her husband, a preacher, has been offered a position at a church in his hometown in Pennsylvania. He believes it will give them the opportunity for a fresh start. But Delilah cannot get past her pain. She blames their teenage daughter, Sparrow, for the death of her younger brother. Sparrow is carrying her own burden of pain. She finds solace in their reclusive Amish neighbor, Emma Mullet. Emma sees in Sparrow the daugh Delilah Evans has recently buried her young son and is drowning in her grief. Her husband, a preacher, has been offered a position at a church in his hometown in Pennsylvania. He believes it will give them the opportunity for a fresh start. But Delilah cannot get past her pain. She blames their teenage daughter, Sparrow, for the death of her younger brother. Sparrow is carrying her own burden of pain. She finds solace in their reclusive Amish neighbor, Emma Mullet. Emma sees in Sparrow the daughter she has yearned for. Emma is struggling with her own secrets and the guilt associated with those secrets. Set in the 1950s, the tensions are high between the African American, the white and the Amish communities. Despite the differences that exist between them, the common bonds of sorrow have created a rare friendship between Delilah and Emma. Though filled with anguish, and I disliked how Delilah couldn't see past her own grief to understand the agony Sparrow was dealing with, it addresses the issues of racial and religious prejudice in a compelling manner. A favorite quote: "Why did different cause such a reaction? If not laughter then judgement, and if not judgement then fear. Shouldn't it cause us to seek something more valuable, like understanding? But fear and judgement was easier."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joy D

    Set in 1956, a black family relocates from Alabama to Pennsylvania after the death of their son. They move to a rural area next door to an Amish family. It is told from the viewpoints of three female characters: preacher’s wife, Delilah, her daughter, Sparrow, and neighbor, Emma. Delilah blames Sparrow for her role in her brother’s death. Sparrow feels anguish and cannot turn to her mother, so she befriends the neighbor. Emma is harboring her own secrets. The storyline explores racial discrimina Set in 1956, a black family relocates from Alabama to Pennsylvania after the death of their son. They move to a rural area next door to an Amish family. It is told from the viewpoints of three female characters: preacher’s wife, Delilah, her daughter, Sparrow, and neighbor, Emma. Delilah blames Sparrow for her role in her brother’s death. Sparrow feels anguish and cannot turn to her mother, so she befriends the neighbor. Emma is harboring her own secrets. The storyline explores racial discrimination and how people bond over painful experiences. A primary strength of this novel lies in the authentic feel of the main characters. Water is a recurring symbol of both negative and positive forces. Themes include grief, guilt, faith, friendship, and forgiveness. Sensitive readers should be aware that this book contains scenes of self-harm. The story contains a great deal of sadness and suffering, but it also offers a thread of hope.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn Green

    Oh my heavenly days. This book. If you can get the audio version, do it. If not, get it in any format you can. The writing itself deserves multiple awards, and I hope to be able to congratulate Younts on winning those at some point. The voices of each character, the setting, the subjects (hefty subject matter, people!)... all of these combine into an unforgettable story I will not forget. There were times when this book was so painful I had to take it in small doses or just drop everything to hu Oh my heavenly days. This book. If you can get the audio version, do it. If not, get it in any format you can. The writing itself deserves multiple awards, and I hope to be able to congratulate Younts on winning those at some point. The voices of each character, the setting, the subjects (hefty subject matter, people!)... all of these combine into an unforgettable story I will not forget. There were times when this book was so painful I had to take it in small doses or just drop everything to hurry through to the end. But it's worth it, and the ending does satisfy. This was my first time reading Elizabeth Byler Younts, and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    This novel by a new to me author delivered beautiful writing, surprising plot twists and wrung me out emotionally. I feel a little bit spent after reading this treasure. I'll start with the time period. It's pretty rare to find a novel set in the 1950s. It's a unique time period in America's history. Many homes had stay at home moms, marriages lasted longer and tensions were high among different races. While the author uses race relations to paint the picture of the time, it wasn't the central th This novel by a new to me author delivered beautiful writing, surprising plot twists and wrung me out emotionally. I feel a little bit spent after reading this treasure. I'll start with the time period. It's pretty rare to find a novel set in the 1950s. It's a unique time period in America's history. Many homes had stay at home moms, marriages lasted longer and tensions were high among different races. While the author uses race relations to paint the picture of the time, it wasn't the central theme. The central theme is friendship. Two hurting women from vastly different worlds become neighbors. The novel is really about three females: two adult females and the teenage daughter of one of them. All three of them are in so much pain and struggle to find a way beyond it. Just when I thought my heart couldn't take more, there was another layer of pain revealed. I found myself not just crying but sobbing near the end of the novel when details of one tragic event were revealed. Ultimately, this is a novel about healing and having the courage to trust a bit of oneself with another to be a balm for healing. Throughout the novel water is used so effectively. Beautiful novel. My gratitude to publisher Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to write a review and the opinions expressed are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Gentry

    With exquisite skill and unique prose, Younts transported me to the tensions of the 1950s while capturing the timelessness of friendship and forgiveness. The characters in this story of secrets leap from the page and straight into your heart. You can almost hear the small creek that divides these women as they trudge back and forth through the water that will eventually heal them. Brilliant and moving story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Wow! This book will easily be one of my top 10 reads of the year. Ms. Younts is a new-to me author. This story is filled with heartbreak and anguish. It is a story of tragedy and how family members dealt with grief and guilt in their own way. It is also the story of unusual friendships that blurred the lines of race and religion in the 1960's setting. The story is told from the separate POV of Delilah, Emma and Sparrow. While I did not always agree with the decisions made by the three main charac Wow! This book will easily be one of my top 10 reads of the year. Ms. Younts is a new-to me author. This story is filled with heartbreak and anguish. It is a story of tragedy and how family members dealt with grief and guilt in their own way. It is also the story of unusual friendships that blurred the lines of race and religion in the 1960's setting. The story is told from the separate POV of Delilah, Emma and Sparrow. While I did not always agree with the decisions made by the three main characters, I was able to empathize and eager to read a happy ending. Ms. Younts creates believable and flawed characters that remain with the reader after the last page has been read. Each of the three main characters have a strong faith, but are at a point where they question why God lets bad things happen. The resulting story of soul-searching and forgiveness is powerful. I look forward to reading more by this author in the future. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley and the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Turansky

    This beautifully-written story explores the depths of friendship, mother-daughter relationships, grief, and forgiveness. Some of the topics, including racism, alcoholism, and self-harm, are challenging to read and consider, but Elizabeth Byler Younts handled them with honesty and sensitivity. I listened to the audio version, and the narrator did a excellent job with the voices of the various characters. This is a powerful story with deep meaning that will keep you thinking about the characters l This beautifully-written story explores the depths of friendship, mother-daughter relationships, grief, and forgiveness. Some of the topics, including racism, alcoholism, and self-harm, are challenging to read and consider, but Elizabeth Byler Younts handled them with honesty and sensitivity. I listened to the audio version, and the narrator did a excellent job with the voices of the various characters. This is a powerful story with deep meaning that will keep you thinking about the characters long after you turn the last page.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I was riveted by this beautifully told tale of brokenness and healing, and finding friendship in unexpected places. I felt transported to the time period, and all the scenes were completely believable, and the characters relatable. Beautiful prose. This was my first read from this author, and it definitely won't be my last. Elizabeth Byler Younts has a strong, authentic voice, and writes a story that commands attention. Highly recommended!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alena

    Loved the 1956 setting and emotional undercurrents tied to loss, racism and isolation. Great female characters who kept me engaged. But perhaps over-written. I don’t need the themes and deeper meaning spelled out for me (repeatedly). This could have benefitted from a less is more approach.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy Clipston

    This is a beautiful story of faith and unexpected friendship. The writing is superb. I was riveted from the first sentence. Highly recommend this book!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    Never have I read (or in this case listened to) a book with such distinct voices. Characters. Story. I was absolutely captivated, overcome, heartbroken and heart-mended by turns. This book is absolutely powerful and words--or stars--fail to do this novel justice. The characters leap from the page with heart-bleeding raw honesty. Each character and their unique voice distinct by turn and yet bound together with impossible struggles that have beaten them so low. I could not stop thinking about the Never have I read (or in this case listened to) a book with such distinct voices. Characters. Story. I was absolutely captivated, overcome, heartbroken and heart-mended by turns. This book is absolutely powerful and words--or stars--fail to do this novel justice. The characters leap from the page with heart-bleeding raw honesty. Each character and their unique voice distinct by turn and yet bound together with impossible struggles that have beaten them so low. I could not stop thinking about these characters, this story. There is a raw brutality in the words and the cadence as the reader walks with Emma, Delilah and Sparrow. They become larger than life and could so easily be your next door neighbors. The novel paints an incredible picture of life in the 1950's and the conflicts of this time, blended with the conflict in the heart and lives of each of these three women. A truly powerful story, I was impacted, challenged, broken and could not turn away from every emotionally charged word. Though not an easy read by any means, the story is so far and away worth every minute. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Words do escape me and fail to do my emotions for this masterful novel justice.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    A powerful water motif unites this tale of three women who have allowed shame, guilt & grief to steal their hope, joy, forgiveness—in fact, everything that makes life worth living. “No one liked to talk about why we wanted to walk away from our lives. No one wanted to talk about why we drew invisible lines around our hearts and expected everyone to stay far away.” “It was like lamenting over thirst while the solace of water was close at hand. But I’d remained empty, and instead of taking a long d A powerful water motif unites this tale of three women who have allowed shame, guilt & grief to steal their hope, joy, forgiveness—in fact, everything that makes life worth living. “No one liked to talk about why we wanted to walk away from our lives. No one wanted to talk about why we drew invisible lines around our hearts and expected everyone to stay far away.” “It was like lamenting over thirst while the solace of water was close at hand. But I’d remained empty, and instead of taking a long drink of healing and offering forgiveness, I’d poured the water onto the earth . . . Could water even satisfy my thirst anymore?” It’s heavy reading at times, but the pain crescendos into a satisfying, redemptive ending. Sure to resonate with many women. Definitely a book I’ll recommend.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Heartbreaking! This was a well-written and gut wrenching story about how Deedee, Sparrow, and Emma dealt with unimaginable pain, grief, and circumstances. It also dealt with the social injustices of the time period. I thought the book was very interesting, and it kept my attention throughout. But keep a box of tissues handy if you plan on reading it, because it is a sad one!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    This book knocked me completely off my seat. Amazing story of love, friendship and destroying preconceived perceptions in favor of truth and hope. One of the best books I've read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    House of Books

    This is a heartbreaking book. It deals with the loss of a child and starting anew in an attempt to forget, to overcome the tragedy that plagued your family. But it is not devoid of hope or redemption, even though it has a strong Christian feel to it (which personally i didn't like, that's why I gave it 4 stars and not 5), the promise of rebirth/renewal might help other families who are dealing with the same issue regardless of religious beliefs. It was a good read, an emotional rollercoaster, th This is a heartbreaking book. It deals with the loss of a child and starting anew in an attempt to forget, to overcome the tragedy that plagued your family. But it is not devoid of hope or redemption, even though it has a strong Christian feel to it (which personally i didn't like, that's why I gave it 4 stars and not 5), the promise of rebirth/renewal might help other families who are dealing with the same issue regardless of religious beliefs. It was a good read, an emotional rollercoaster, the author decided to include a lot of hard scenes in the book, situations that might make some younger readers a bit uncomfortable but all in all i fully recommend this book. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)

    This is one of those reviews that is hard to write, because you don't think you can do the book justice. First of all, I took my time reading this book, which is extremely difficult for me. Not only am I a fast reader, but I often find myself wanting to read and read to get to the end of a book, so I can read another great one. But this book was different. I knew right from the start that it needed to be read at a slower pace. I needed to soak in the words and give the characters the time they d This is one of those reviews that is hard to write, because you don't think you can do the book justice. First of all, I took my time reading this book, which is extremely difficult for me. Not only am I a fast reader, but I often find myself wanting to read and read to get to the end of a book, so I can read another great one. But this book was different. I knew right from the start that it needed to be read at a slower pace. I needed to soak in the words and give the characters the time they deserved. There is so much emotion in this book: highs and lows, laughs and cries, worry and joy. Prepare yourself. You'll need some tissues nearby, and I would kindly suggest not reading this in public. Or on your lunch break at work surrounded by your coworkers. It makes for awkward conversations. Although there are some tough topics presented in this beautifully written novel, Elizabeth Byler Younts has found a way to tackle them gracefully and poetically. She writes in such a way that will tug at your heart and make you feel all the emotions right along with the character. I loved having the three POVs in this story. Emma, Delilah and Sparrow each had their own story to tell, yet they fit so perfectly together like a puzzle. Each one had a secret. Each one needed help. And little did they know that the solace they really needed was there all along. This powerful novel is one that will be on my heart and mind for years. It's one I know I'll go back and reread every now and then. It packs a punch friends. It's that strong cup of coffee that you need to jump-start your day. No, it's not all frills, roses and romance. Honestly, I'm glad for that. The story wouldn't have been as powerful and emotional that way. But it is a story of forgiveness. Of moving on. Of trusting in the One who put you on this earth in the first place. Read this book. When you're done, lend it to a friend and then talk about it. I think you'll be glad you did. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cindy H.

    Thank you to the publisher, Thomas Nelson Fiction and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Elizabeth Byler Younts novel in exchange for my honest review. Initially, I was immediately drawn to the story of Delilah Evans an African American preacher's wife grieving for the loss of her little boy. Hoping to give the family a fresh start, the family moves from Alabama to Amish county, Pennsylvania. However for daughter Sparrow and her mother nothing can erase the accident that caused the death o Thank you to the publisher, Thomas Nelson Fiction and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Elizabeth Byler Younts novel in exchange for my honest review. Initially, I was immediately drawn to the story of Delilah Evans an African American preacher's wife grieving for the loss of her little boy. Hoping to give the family a fresh start, the family moves from Alabama to Amish county, Pennsylvania. However for daughter Sparrow and her mother nothing can erase the accident that caused the death of Carver. Sparrow takes to inflicting self harm and her mother's icy demeanor only adds fuel to the pain. Soon the family meets their Amish neighbor Emma, who is harboring deep secrets of her own.Emma recognizes the deep pain in lonely Sparrow and offers her a source of comfort. It was halfway through this story, where I began to lose interest. The tone of the novel switched from historical fiction, coming of age saga to a religious preachy tome of forgiveness, rebirth and renewal. I was feeling an overtly Christian message, which left me feeling uncomfortable. Perhaps, this novel should have been marked as Christian Fiction, which would appeal to other readers.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hallie Szott

    4.5 Review to come. Reading Challenge Categories: -#Ampersand2019 Reading Challenge: A book with "of" in the title -Beat the Backlist Reading Bingo: Cover love -#ReadingUSA: Pennsylvania

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kailey

    This is such an excellent book! It makes us take a look at grief and sin and the different forms it can take. I loved the different ladies and their stories. One of the characters really challenged me and made me not like her, but I eventually warmed up to her and understood her. I really liked a different character and really connected with her. I loved how the three different character perspectives tied together to form this deep and moving story. I loved how they overcame grief, pain, and the This is such an excellent book! It makes us take a look at grief and sin and the different forms it can take. I loved the different ladies and their stories. One of the characters really challenged me and made me not like her, but I eventually warmed up to her and understood her. I really liked a different character and really connected with her. I loved how the three different character perspectives tied together to form this deep and moving story. I loved how they overcame grief, pain, and the racial barriers of the time period to form a lasting friendship. I highly recommend the audiobook version if you can get it!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    A story of redemption and renewal and a story of an unlikely friendship between an African-American preacher's wife and an Amish wife. Delilah and Malachi move to Pennsylvania with their remaining children for a new start after losing their son, Carver in Alabama. Delilah blames her daughter, Sparrow, for Carver's death. Emma, an Amish wife, is harboring more than one secret from the Amish community and from her husband. Sparrow, feeling no love from her mother, ends up spending a lot of time at A story of redemption and renewal and a story of an unlikely friendship between an African-American preacher's wife and an Amish wife. Delilah and Malachi move to Pennsylvania with their remaining children for a new start after losing their son, Carver in Alabama. Delilah blames her daughter, Sparrow, for Carver's death. Emma, an Amish wife, is harboring more than one secret from the Amish community and from her husband. Sparrow, feeling no love from her mother, ends up spending a lot of time at Emma's house and Emma becomes like a surrogate mother to her. This story is tangled with emotions of grief, social issues, secrets, and difficult decisions. It does become a little preachy at times, but all in all a good story. Thanks to Elizabeth Byler Younts and Thomas Nelson -- FICTION through Netgalley for an advance copy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alysha (For The Love of Christian Fiction)

    Let's start with what I enjoyed about this book, shall we? I LOVED the diversity of this book! How interesting to see the social exchanges between two VERY different families in a tough time in history. I LOVED the writing style of this book! It was so lyrical and once I GOT started I found myself flipping through the pages rapidly. At first the change in P.O.V threw me off, but the further I got into the story the more I enjoyed it. Now let's dive into some topics that were dealt with. SECRETS were Let's start with what I enjoyed about this book, shall we? I LOVED the diversity of this book! How interesting to see the social exchanges between two VERY different families in a tough time in history. I LOVED the writing style of this book! It was so lyrical and once I GOT started I found myself flipping through the pages rapidly. At first the change in P.O.V threw me off, but the further I got into the story the more I enjoyed it. Now let's dive into some topics that were dealt with. SECRETS were a HUGE part of this book. On top of that, they were drawn out and our imaginations were left to run wild and draw our own conclusions. HATRED played another huge role. Whether self hatred or hatred of other people I could feel the emotion oozing out of the page. RACISM was woven inside every twist and turn. Welcome to the 1950's...sadly! PAIN that was internal. The cries of a mother's broken heart. The cries of a sister who feels she is to blame. HEALING & FORGIVENESS finally showed their faces when you thought they wouldn't. Some things I had issues with. Everything being drawn out was a key factor in why it took me almost a month to finish the book. The racism and hatred were another reason!! I read fiction to laugh and be transported into a perfect little fairytale world. I forget that there really were heart wrenching stories like this one in history. So to be hit in the face at every turn with a mother hating her daughter, and hating everyone who looked at her,and all the judgement that was coming from her P.O.V was ROUGH to say the least. It was a VERY deep book, one that is GREAT for an older audience or people who have personally faced some of this loss. Seeing as I haven't and I'm more of a lighthearted history lover, this book wasn't quite my speed. I really wanted to love it because the premise sounded amazing and I really enjoyed the writing style, but I couldn't. I personally rated it a 2/5 stars. Though I know this book has the power to change someone's life! *I received this book in exchange for my honest review**I was not required to give a positive rating**All opinions are my own*

  25. 5 out of 5

    Fiction Aficionado

    What an utterly captivating read! It took me a couple of chapters to settle into this story, but by the time I finished it, I had tears rolling down my face. The burdens these women carried—some of their own making, some not—were so palpable and their characters so breathtakingly authentic, not just as humans but as products of their time and culture, that I ended up being completely transported to the world of the story. Ironically, I think the reason it took me a couple of chapters to settle in What an utterly captivating read! It took me a couple of chapters to settle into this story, but by the time I finished it, I had tears rolling down my face. The burdens these women carried—some of their own making, some not—were so palpable and their characters so breathtakingly authentic, not just as humans but as products of their time and culture, that I ended up being completely transported to the world of the story. Ironically, I think the reason it took me a couple of chapters to settle into the novel was because Delilah was so well written. Her speech patterns were very authentic for a black woman in the 1950s and, coupled to her forthright manner and her bitterness over the death of her young son, the first person narrative initially felt a bit awkward. But as I got to know Delilah better, I realised how much it added to, perhaps even defined her character. The story was gripping in its own right, but the way it explored the dichotomous qualities of water—literally and metaphorically—added layers of depth that I’m still contemplating. Water is the source of both life and death; it soothes and it causes pain; it is a force of nature and yet ours to harness and use as we choose. And, of course, it has spiritual significance through baptism. All of these aspects are explored in the novel to varying degrees as Delilah, Sparrow, and Emma are carried along on the relentless current of their grief, their secrets, and their guilt. This is a must-read if you enjoy a powerful story of restoration, forgiveness, and unlikely friendship. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    This pulled me in fast, into the raw pain that DeeDee, Sparrow, and Emma were all experiencing. The writing was like a vortex that kept drawing me back to Sinking Creek, where all three resided. Usually, when I cry as I read a novel, it's a done deal that the book is a five star. Even though it's been a while since I was Sparrow's age, I connected most with her and her raw emotions and wanting her Mother's forgiveness regarding her brother's accidental death. I don't have a top ten of books I ha This pulled me in fast, into the raw pain that DeeDee, Sparrow, and Emma were all experiencing. The writing was like a vortex that kept drawing me back to Sinking Creek, where all three resided. Usually, when I cry as I read a novel, it's a done deal that the book is a five star. Even though it's been a while since I was Sparrow's age, I connected most with her and her raw emotions and wanting her Mother's forgiveness regarding her brother's accidental death. I don't have a top ten of books I have read through the year, but if I did, this book would without a doubt be on it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    An evocative tale of loss and heartache. There aren't many lighthearted moments in The Solace of Water but Younts' writing style is fluid and achingly beautiful. My emotions are all in a jumble now that I've reached the end. Hope was a long time coming but it finally arrives with an outpouring of grace. Such a powerful story. Three distinct voices in a first person narrative draws the reader into the hearts and minds of Delilah, Sparrow and Emma. An African-American woman, her daughter and their An evocative tale of loss and heartache. There aren't many lighthearted moments in The Solace of Water but Younts' writing style is fluid and achingly beautiful. My emotions are all in a jumble now that I've reached the end. Hope was a long time coming but it finally arrives with an outpouring of grace. Such a powerful story. Three distinct voices in a first person narrative draws the reader into the hearts and minds of Delilah, Sparrow and Emma. An African-American woman, her daughter and their Amish neighbour brought together during the tumultuous times at the start of the Civil Rights Movement. An unlikely friendship sparks from the ashes of grief and despair. Delilah wears her mantle of bitterness with a hard-headed pride that shreds her relationship with her daughter. Poor Sparrow, so lost and broken, trying to fix her hurt in devastating ways. And Emma, an Amish woman who has been living with so many secrets she's nearly paralyzed with fear. Each woman struggles with the aftermath of grief and the havoc it reigns on their lives and the lives of those they love. This is a hard read. And a somber one. Sometimes I didn't want to venture into the dark places that plague these three women. It wasn't always comfortable. Sometimes awkward. Upsetting even. But so very true to life as Younts explores issues that are just as pertinent today as they were sixty years ago. And then she shines a light into that murky darkness and turns the ugliness into something beautiful and suddenly there's hope in an unfettered future that only forgiveness and grace can bring.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarita

    This book has a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings, and I can understand why, but I don’t know, I liked it but won’t really recommend it to a friend. I liked the friendship between Emma, who is Amish, and Deedee and Sparrow, African. It showed how people can be united and stand together when they step out of ‘what the world says’. The last 10% of the book was really good. But the book I could only read a chapter or 2 a day. The issues the characters were dealing with was very heavy and truthfully, I did This book has a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings, and I can understand why, but I don’t know, I liked it but won’t really recommend it to a friend. I liked the friendship between Emma, who is Amish, and Deedee and Sparrow, African. It showed how people can be united and stand together when they step out of ‘what the world says’. The last 10% of the book was really good. But the book I could only read a chapter or 2 a day. The issues the characters were dealing with was very heavy and truthfully, I did not like Deedee at all. I know she lost a child and were dealing with racism etc, but to treat your daughter like that and say the things she said to her, that is emotional abuse and I felt that wasn’t really dealt with. Sparrow also had huge issues and the ending made it feel like everything was fine after a life changing event. Emma’s journey was just as sad and here Deedee helped her with her no nonsense attitude. The theme of forgiveness, letting go and how not forgiving can cause bitterness, hatred and bad decisions was very good though and quite clear in Deedee, Sparrow and Emma’s lives.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Johnson

    The Solace of Water is deeply honest and beautifully written women's fiction, exploring the painful depths of loss and blame, love, friendship and the secrets that bind families too tightly. Delilah, Sparrow, and Emma have lingered in my mind after closing the book, their journeys painful and brave. At times I wept for their decisions and the choices they made, feeling their hurt deeply. The intersection of the African American culture in the 1950s with the Amish culture creates a unique window The Solace of Water is deeply honest and beautifully written women's fiction, exploring the painful depths of loss and blame, love, friendship and the secrets that bind families too tightly. Delilah, Sparrow, and Emma have lingered in my mind after closing the book, their journeys painful and brave. At times I wept for their decisions and the choices they made, feeling their hurt deeply. The intersection of the African American culture in the 1950s with the Amish culture creates a unique window into racism, gender roles, and family ties. At the heart of The Solace of Water is the power forgiveness yields in our lives, and the need for grace across culture, race, and age. The author's lyrical prose and unflinching look at friendship and the pain of loss makes for an unforgettable story, one I highly recommend for fans of inspirational women's fiction. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Wow! This book was absolutely incredible! The Solace of Water is emotional and probably stands as a new favorite, which is hard to come by for me. Take three wounded women with deep sorrows that seemly have nothing in common and write a novel of individual, yet collective journeys in all stages of life. I was not expecting this book when I picked it up. I'm still in utter shock of the beauty and authenticity portrayed in each of these women's lives. The Solace of Water would be an amazing book t Wow! This book was absolutely incredible! The Solace of Water is emotional and probably stands as a new favorite, which is hard to come by for me. Take three wounded women with deep sorrows that seemly have nothing in common and write a novel of individual, yet collective journeys in all stages of life. I was not expecting this book when I picked it up. I'm still in utter shock of the beauty and authenticity portrayed in each of these women's lives. The Solace of Water would be an amazing book to read for book clubs, as a small group study or with a group of friends. It is a perfect read for the summer and I expect to read more good things about this book. This book will stay in your heart long after the pages have been finished. It is a delicacy and a masterpiece all woven as one. I give this book 5/5 stars and would give it a higher rating if possible. A favorable review was not required.

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