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Body Is Water

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  110 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
"Four generations of us had occupied this space, argued in it and inexplicably blighted each other's days in it, all while looking out at the ocean, crashing and advancing every year."Three months pregnant after a two-night stand, Jane Haus resigns her job teaching English to confront her ambivalence about having a baby. Drawn by an irresistible inner homing device, she re ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Avon (first published 1995)
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Apr 26, 2009 Theresa rated it really liked it
Jane Haus is three months pregnant and has decided to walk away from her teaching job in Pennsylvania and move back in with her cantankerous, widowed father in her childhood home on the Jersey shore. She doesn’t know the father of her child, a man with whom she had a two-night stand, and is ambivalent about the pregnancy.

Her older, brilliant and more competent sister, Bee, learns of her decision and quits her job in Atlanta to move back home as well to help her sister, and father, as she goes th
Megan Baxter
I didn't like this book at all. When one of the first things you notice is that the author uses too many semi-colons, you know you're in for a rough ride.

But it wasn't the grammar. It was the thoroughly unlikeable main character who doesn't seem to have changed at all throughout the book. She's selfish, she thinks everyone is out to get her or dislikes her, with no particular evidence, she judges her sister and father on their behaviour but doesn't want to be judged on her own, refuses to do any
Feb 02, 2015 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Julie Schumacher's academic farce, Dear Committee Members, so I thought I'd give her first novel a try. I found it very strong on character development but with only a simple plot.

The protagonist, Jane, is a late 20’s English teacher who in June quit her 4th straight teaching job and has moved family home on a New Jersey beach because she is pregnant. The house is the source of a painful family history and Jane becomes obsessed with finding out all the details. Each of the characters is
Gail Gauthier
I read this book because Schumacher wrote a YA novel, The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls, about the daughter of the main character in this one. Loved the YA book. There was one little bit in this first one about the main character, Jane, reading a certain type of book and how it affected her that gets picked up big time in the YA book. It's always interesting to see some kind of pattern in an author's writing.

I think the second book for younger readers is far more focused with a stron
Sep 17, 2008 Joanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had this author as a Professor at St. Olaf for several courses. The first was Dystopic, or nightmarish societies. In the second course - American Lit since 1945 she introduced me to Sylvia Plath, and assigned me to give a presentation on her presuming I would really like her work. My god was she right. I think I've always had a crush on Julie. Her first book, The Body Is Water, is incredibly descriptive absurdly hilarious and darkly genius, if you are the kind of person to appreciate that. The ...more
Stephanie Holcomb
Oh, this was allright. The protaginist was kind of dull. Her sister was a much more interesting character. It flowed along, but not much of a "story" there, as if the author just started writing one day without a plot or plan. But I read the whole thing, which says something over the books I put down halfway through.
Apr 23, 2013 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Nothing about this book interested me. The characters were flat, the writing dull, and the conflict was drab and not well-constructed. It was as though the only thing carrying the book was the "theme." To be honest, I didn't even finish this book.
May 29, 2012 Bethany rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The description made me think I would love this book, and I ended up hating pretty much everything about it.
Oct 15, 2008 SaraK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very well written; I could feel Jane's emotions throughout. Not the most gripping book I have ever read, therefore only 4 stars.
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Julie Schumacher grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and graduated from Oberlin College and Cornell University. Her first novel, The Body Is Water, was published by Soho Press in 1995 and was an ALA Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Minnesota Book Award.

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