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Waterbaby: A Novel
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Waterbaby: A Novel

3.03  ·  Rating Details ·  33 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
As children, Tam and her older brother were swimming when she suffered her first epileptic seizure. He pulled her from the water and was crowned a hero. Tam was labeled “disabled” and never swam again. And so began 30 years of vigilance, never allowing her body to betray her, never allowing her brother or her family or anyone else to influence her path. Now, in middle age, ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 28th 2007 by Soft Skull Press (first published September 10th 2007)
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Apr 21, 2008 Anastasia rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2008
First of all, I need to say that this book is not for everyone. It is definitely strange, and mixes together several genres as well as several media (mediums?). It's set in the present, but the main character does some genealogical research for her sister and spends a bunch of time fantasizing, thinking about, and even acting out what she thinks happened in the lives of her 19th century ancestors. The author uses email and websites to tell some of the story, and in this case, I think it was real ...more
Jul 18, 2015 Darlene rated it it was ok
Really wanted to like this book more then a 2 star rating. Right from the start I knew it wasn't going to be what I thought it was about. At times I found it confusing while reading, the story line jumping from present day to the past in just a sentence or two. Often times the author would elaborate on a part of the story that really didn't need to be. To me, the important parts got cut short. You could definitely tell the main character of the story had the middle child syndrome, poor me attitu ...more
Mar 12, 2013 Amy rated it it was ok
Book: Waterbaby

Author: Cris Mazza

Published: October 2007 by Soft Skull Press, 320 pages

Date Read: June 2012

First Line: ”She’d been feeling a seizure coming on for several weeks, and for the first time in twenty-five years.”

Genre/Rating: Literary fiction; 2/5 ghosts disappearing around the side of a lighthouse

Review: The description of this book sold me. A romance! Troubled relationships between siblings! An abandoned baby! Genealogy! A ghost! A mystery! I love all of these things. I am a sucker
Aug 31, 2016 Patrick rated it it was ok
Kind of a strange book. I finished it, but it was more work than I'd have liked. The main character is related to a (real) lighthouse keeper in Maine with the last name of Marr, whom I might be tangentially related to. That was enough to keep me going (barely), but I kept putting this book down so I could read others instead. That illustrates the fact that I didn't find it a compelling read. It does make me want to visit Maine though, so I guess it had some value.
Kelly Suprenant
Jul 29, 2012 Kelly Suprenant rated it really liked it
This one started out rough. The characters were bland and unappealing, ridiculous things happened such as sex within five minutes of meeting. But as it wore on and the past and present became more tightly wound, it came together beautifully. Particularly the last quarter of the book is beautiful and sad. It just takes a while to get there. Stick with this one, it's rewarding in the end.
Oct 08, 2008 Sydney rated it did not like it

The first few chapters of this were really enjoyable. Family tension, allusion to lost loves and tragedies, show dogs, etc. etc. But then it got into the very thin and hard to believe historical reconstruction...and the sex...and more sex...and hey look, there's a teenager and her baby...and then what?! It's over.

Overall, not that great.
Oct 07, 2008 Red rated it did not like it
there was so much promise in this book, and so little delivered. at one point, the book skipped from page 218 to 272, and I barely noticed.
Apr 16, 2008 Amy rated it it was ok
I couldn't get into this book, so I quit.
Jul 25, 2009 Dan rated it it was amazing
Sophisticated, not stuffy.
Jan 14, 2008 Gina rated it it was amazing
One of Cris Mazza's best.
Jul 06, 2010 Brian rated it did not like it
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Cris Mazza is the author of a dozen books of fiction, mostly recently Waterbaby (Soft Skull Press 2007). Her other titles include the critically acclaimed Is It Sexual Harassment Yet?, and the PEN Nelson Algren Award winning How to Leave a Country. She also has a collection of personal essays, Indigenous: Growing Up Californian. Mazza has been the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and three Illinois ...more
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