The Sweetness of Water (Oprah’s Book Club) The Sweetness of Water (Oprah’s Book Club)

The Sweetness of Water (Oprah’s Book Club‪)‬

    • 3.4 • 651 Ratings
    • $22.99

    • $22.99

Publisher Description

An Instant New York Times bestseller / An Oprah’s Book Club Pick

In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, an award-winning “miraculous debut” (Washington Post) about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.

One of President Obama's Favorite Books of 2021

Winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

Winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction

Winner of the Writers’ League of Texas Book Award for Fiction

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize

Shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

Longlisted for the 2022 Carnegie Medal for Excellence

Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

Longlisted for the Crook’s Corner Book Prize

A Best Book of the Year: Oprah Daily, NPR, Washington Post, Time, Boston Globe, Smithsonian, Chicago Public Library, BookBrowse, and the Oregonian

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

A July 2021 Indie Next Pick

William DeMeritt
hr min
June 15
Hachette Audio

Customer Reviews

eh Ho r ,

I so enjoyed this story. Wonderfully written, thank you.


Still Beautiful at 60 ,

Enjoyable Listen

Fun voices came to life making this an enjoyable listen. Although the heart aches of the civil war and the emancipation injustices are another hard reality of our nation’s history it helps us learn from our mistakes.

74redvet ,

The Sweetness of Water

This is quite possibly the best piece of literature I’ve ever read. So unique, so incredibly written. Three days, maybe, to read? Could not put it down. The women, especially, are portrayed so strong, so hopeful.
Be prepared for a good cry at the end- so satisfying and eloquent. I’m shocked it was Harris’s first- I will await many more!

Listeners Also Bought

Deacon King Kong: A Novel (Unabridged) Deacon King Kong: A Novel (Unabridged)
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel (Unabridged) Harlem Shuffle: A Novel (Unabridged)
The Personal Librarian: A GMA Book Club Pick (A Novel) (Unabridged) The Personal Librarian: A GMA Book Club Pick (A Novel) (Unabridged)
Olive, Again (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel (Unabridged) Olive, Again (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel (Unabridged)
The Henna Artist The Henna Artist