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It’s been a year since the body of seventeen-year-old Kelsey Little was found in the river outside Dark Vespers, Nebraska. Although the town may have reached an uneasy equilibrium, those who loved her most have certainly not: Javier Martinez, her troubled ex-boyfriend and the father of the child no one knew she was carrying; Sam and Hank, her parents, whose marriage is coming apart under the pressure of grief and not-knowing; and Ike Parrish, a reclusive eccentric whose clairvoyant “river spells” compel him to come forward with information about Kelsey’s disappearance and death.
A prismatic look at the impact of loss on individual lives, Water and Abandon tells the moving and paradoxical story of those brought together by the very thing that tears them apart. Haunted by Kelsey’s death, each struggles with his or her own demons of blame and guilt, despair and fury—until one, in a confusion of pain, grief, and unrequited love, decides to do something dire. As deeply felt as it is finely crafted, the novel confirms Robert Vivian’s place among the most compelling fiction writers of our day.