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Properties of Water

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  148 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Dedicated wife and mother Josie Hunter finds her seemingly idyllic life threatened by a random act of violence, the return of her estranged older sister, and the emergence of an attractive childhood sweetheart. Reprint. NYT.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Bantam (first published 1995)
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Amy Rosenkoetter
As often happens with similar books, I liked it better than I expected to. Even though it is set in the 1990s, it carries the texture and sensibilities of the 1950s or 70s due to Josie, the main character. Josie trudges through time like a turtle desperately running through tar straining to catch up to her husband, daughters, and even her parents as they keep living in linear fashion. Josie, on the other hand, keeps her head so far turned toward the past that I kept expecting her to turn into a ...more
Dec 28, 2011 Kasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The true beauty of life is the way if ebbs and flows like a river, a tiny pebble in its path can take the water on a new glorious course and where it goes no one knows. In her sixth novel Ann Hood displays her magic touch for creating people and places that haunt the reader for a long time. I have noticed the melancholic tone in her books, the sad pangs and situations where people are hurt emotionally make up big chunks of her books but she doesn't forget to write in some hard earned salvation t ...more
Feb 09, 2014 Arlene rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on-these
Maybe it was just me but I could not make myself get into this book. I read more than my 50 page limit but when it seemed like pain instead of pleasure to plod on, I just gave up. From the general ratings obviously I am in the minority in my opinion of this book.
Lily Tamplin
Mar 10, 2016 Lily Tamplin rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 05, 2010 Grace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2010
At first, I wasn't sure if there was an overall point to Ann Hood's "The Properties of Water." I was okay with this because it seemed like a book about the mundane life of a suburban housewife named Josie, her husband Will, and their two daughters Maggie (a teen in full angst mode) and Kate (the precocious and utterly adorable five year old).

However, it becomes clear that things are not as they appear to be in Josie's life as she continues to love a man who is no longer in love with her, strugg
Peter Panic
Jul 26, 2008 Peter Panic rated it liked it
Once ages ago I read a short story collection by the same author and was infatuated with all the portrayels of the lonely isolated housewife set in Rhode Island. Each and every character was beleiveably feminine and distraught and always in some sort of depressed denial of their life. One woman baked when stressed another knitted. I slowly realizing that while reading it I was very much like some of the characters and almost felt proud. Years later I finally found another book by the same author ...more
Jun 18, 2014 Donna rated it liked it
Josie 's life is in turmoil after a random act of violence. Her supposed perfect life falls apart with her family , a cheating husband, a rebellious teenager, and aging parents.
I recently read one of Ann Hood's latest novels. This was one of her firsts. The style of her writing has improved through the years.

Ann Sandhorst
Mar 10, 2014 Ann Sandhorst rated it liked it
I read Ms. Hood's book, THE OBITUARY WRITER first and loved it so I was intrigued to read her earlier works. This one had a good story but the it jumped around too much. It should have had chapters for this purpose. Also, there were some misused apostrophes and glaring spelling errors which invalidated the reading experience for me.
Dec 14, 2009 Elysabeth rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Frances Kehlbeck Civello
I wish I had started reading Ann Hood's books in chronological order. Her early work is very good...but it pales in comparison to her more recent fiction.

I started with The Knitting Circle, an amazing tapestry of complex characters, joy and raw grief. In comparison, Properties of Water is, well, shallow. It's a good summer read, with well-constructed characters. It held my interest. But it just didn't hold a candle to The Knitting Circle.
Dundee Library
Hood's small town female characters are well developed but their problems are closer to home — infidelity, sisterly rivalry, and cold feet at an impending marriage. Hood employs a little more introspection and personal drama in her stories.
Oct 22, 2009 Denise rated it liked it
I did not think this was her best effort; I enjoyed her later title Ruby a lot--very quirky and funny/sadat the same time.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mar 16, 2016 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
My kind of novel. Women's fiction at its best.
Carly Carter
important book. READ THIS ONE.
Lin Cunningham
Aug 14, 2012 Lin Cunningham rated it really liked it
This is another great book by Ann Hood!
Jul 22, 2010 Mariya marked it as to-read
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Ann Hood is the editor of Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting and the bestselling author of The Book That Matters Most, The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, Comfort, and An Italian Wife, among other works. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, a Best American Food Writing Award, a Best American Travel Writing Award, and the Paul Bowles Prize for Shor ...more
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