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Ratings and Reviews (4 4 star ratings
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    Heartache and redemption

    I was given an advanced copy of this book given to me by the publisher and this is my honest opinion. This book is about three different women and the struggles and pain of each one. It is a book that deals with struggles in the 1950's. It is a book about grief, heartache, and pain yet through it all there is redemption in the end. It also deals with social issues that American has been struggling with for years. It is a hard read and isn’theartache and Redwmption meant for young readers due to some of the mature material but as a counselor I am always looking to read storiLisa Ces that add insight to the life Lisa Cof those who had experienced trauma so I may better understand and be able to help others find freedoms from their past and pain.
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    Pick this One Up! It is a definite Must Read!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I seldom give a book 5 out of 5 stars. It must be a book that I will keep thinking about it. This book definitely meets the criteria. The title raises the main themes of the book: Solace (comfort) and water (baptism, birth, life, growth, drowning, death). The quote “Water for life; dirt of the dead” is an overarching summary of this book. The book gets your attention right off the start. The death of a child which has the reader sympathizing. The book is set in the 1950s. An Amish family and a Negro family become neighbors and friends. (“Was I just a white person and … just a colored person?” or “I’d always been known by what I wore and how I lived, but not by my skin. I didn’t know what it was like to be known by my own skin.”) Each mother in these families lost a child. The pain and coping that goes with their grief binds them together. Additionally, the book effectively raises the challenges of each group during these times. Awareness is raised of: • Death of a child (“Water could do a lot, but I didn’t think it could bring anything back from death. Sometimes too much water caused a seed or a young plant to die.” and “I tried so hard to see his little face, but it was like I was looking through water.”), • Loss (“…something wrong with my land because it wasn’t letting nothing grow yet. No little sprouts. Maybe what I’d sown and planted was grief so that was all I could harvest.”), • Self-harm (“I hurt real bad because I killed my brother.”), • Interracial relationships (“You know better than that. You know our colors don’t mix. You live your life. I live mine.”), • Racism in the 50s, • Alcoholism and its impact on the community and family (“the secrets … kept from the church bound us together but were also destroying us from within”), • Forgiveness (“…it was about me forgiving myself. I just wanted to die.”), • Grief (“…didn’t want to be touched no more. Didn’t want no pleasure—didn’t seem right.” Grief so strong that she denies herself happiness.) • Church and baptism (“Wasn’t baptism supposed to bring you a new life? It brought my baby death.”) Numerous times it caused me to stop and think: “…the very trees called to me. Sometimes it was in the way the wind wrapped around them and their leaves waved hello. This morning it was in the birdsong with its trill reminding me that there was something beautiful still to be cherished.” Over and over there are lines grabbed me, such as: “The sun was setting just on the other side of the church. It looked pretty. Pink. Purple. Orange. God was painting His love across the sky.” “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 to satisfy the bitter roots I harvest daily.” “Water just did what it did and got in all the cracks and went in all the emptiness it could find. It didn’t even have to try hard. It was just how water worked. Sometimes it was giving and sometimes it was taking. Because water can do both.” “… water was alive. It just did what it did and ain’t nobody can tame it.” “The water was the same color as my hand and the same color as Emma’s hand—but the difference in color didn’t change what it was. It was still water. And in that, I found solace.” The book is compelling and very thought provoking. I loved this book and highly recommend it.
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    A heart-wrenching story of grief and forgiveness

    This is an amazing book and a beautifully written story! I had never read any of Elizabeth Baylee Younts’ books before this one and I was absolutely stunned at the intricate plot and the emotional depth of the characters. Too often, fiction gives us unrealistic characters, but DeeDee, Emma, and Sparrow were raw, messy characters. Their struggles and grief were unbelievably real and my heart hurt for them multiple times throughout the story. The first person narrative had me cheering for them despite their flaws, especially DeeDee. If you were to take the rich historical depth of Laura Frantz’s novels, and combine it with Katie Ganshert’s messy, relatable characters, you would get this novel. The Solace of Water is not an easy story, covering a range of topics from racism and prejudice, alcoholism and cutting, to secrets and the effects of grief and unforgiveness. Yet despite all of this, the book is saturated in hope. I cried at the end of this book, not because of the darkness of their struggles, but because of the light and the eternal hope it was pointing to.
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    Phenomenal...

    I'll be thinking about this book for a long time. Elizabeth Byler Younts continues to amaze me with her ability to create phenomenal characters. I found myself staying up late to read just one more chapter. The story is centered around three very different women. The dynamics of two different races and cultures set in the 50's add even more interest to the story. While they are each going through different turmoil, they find common ground that bring them together. Several days after finishing this book, I find myself thinking of, and missing these characters. This book is well worth the read. Thank you to the publisher Thomas Nelson, for providing me a ARC in return for my honest review.
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