Author Book Talk: The Ways of Water by Theresa Janssen

ways of water book reading

A terrified girl of no more than six sits astride a bucket, grasping a rope that is lowering her to the bottom of a well in the middle of the Jornada del Muerto in the early 1900’s. The decaying carcass of a jack rabbit has been poisoning the families drinking water, and lowering a child down the well is the only way to retrieve it. Little Josie feels around in the darkness with one hand, as the other tightly grips the rope, and finally snags the bloated animal. Stuck in darkness at the bottom of the well on a teetering bucket, the dead squishy thing in one hand, her heart beating madly, she sways in silence for minutes upon minutes, and all she can think is, “I don’t know how to swim.”

Author Teresa Janssen, in her novel, The Ways of Water, tells a thrilling tale of pioneer life based on the stories her grandmother told her through the years. Her book follows the struggles of Josie and their family, as they adapt to the waves of boom-and-bust in the early 1900’s, as well as the many cultural, political and economic shifts that are taking place during that time. From droughts and floods to the rise and fall of early towns in Sierra County, to journeys west in Bisbee, Tucson, and California, the story weaves a web of experiences, exacerbated by local and world events. The loss of loved ones combines with the founding of new friendships, to culminate in a rewarding and historically and geographically accurate depiction of an era.

Residing currently in rural Washington state, Teresa and her family have traveled to New Mexico to introduce her book, visit local cemeteries, and tour the old ranches and homesteads where family members once lived.

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Date / Time
Mar 04,
12:00 pm
1:30 pm
Free, but donations are welcome
Destiny Mitchell
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