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The Diviner's Tale

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  1,332 Ratings  ·  255 Reviews
An Otto Penzler Book

Walking a lonely forested valley on a spring morning in upstate New York, having been hired by a developer to dowse the land, Cassandra Brooks comes upon the shocking vision of a young girl hanged from a tree. When she returns with authorities to the site, the body has vanished, leaving in question Cassandra’s credibility if not her sanity. The next da
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published January 20th 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2010)
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I am highly offended by terrible writing and I make no secret of that fact. This book does not have terrible writing; it is probably the best-written god-awful story I've ever read and in a way, that is even more offensive than a bad story poorly written.

I wish I were one of those amazing .gif-finding people because I suddenly, due to this book, completely understand the need to write a review in nothing but memes and gifs to properly express my emotions. Sadly, however, my technical skills are
Wendy Darling
Dear authors:

I prefer books that consistently use quotation marks, break up long blocks of text, and allow me to get to know the main characters before spinning off into tangential anecdotes and history. Oh, and it'd be nice if we cared about the people who get killed off, too. Thanks!

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
Cassandra Brooks, a diviner by trade and a single mother of two boys, is hired to dowse the land for a developer in search of a water source. She finds much more than that as she sees a young girl hanging from a tree. She rushes to call the police and returns to show them the body only to find it has disappeared or been removed. Known for being an outcast because of her trade, it is speculated that she just had a weird vision. The police bring her back to revisit the scene when a girl, identical ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Nov 28, 2010 Christina (A Reader of Fictions) rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley
A lot of interesting and dramatic stuff happens in this book. Which is why it's amazing how incredibly boring it managed to be. I had to force myself through pretty much every page. The only characters I liked at all were the twins, as they felt the most like real people. I never related to Cass, who felt strangely withdrawn despite the story being told from her perspective. She felt more like a man than a woman too.

The book jumps around in time frequently. Although the different snatches of Cas
Derby Jones
Mar 19, 2011 Derby Jones rated it liked it
This was an enjoyable read, although with a few caveats. The heroine is one who persistently and illogically puts herself in harms way over and over again. She receives repeated threats, ands sees a strange man watching her house in the middle of the night, yet doesn't inform the chief of police, who also happens to be her best childhood friend. She rejects her psychic gifts at a time when she has the greatest need of them to protect herself and her family. She goes for a walk in the woods where ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Nikki rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Considering I think I got this one at Christmas for £1, I wouldn't say it was a waste of money, but it certainly wasn't the greatest read. It was billed as a mystery, but after the first couple of chapters, it really wasn't grabbing my attention well at all. The narrator's meandering story, the constant intrusion of anecdotes that may or may not be relevant but certainly don't feel it... I liked the idea, but the execution let it down, and the story had very little impact on me.

The little things
Aug 23, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
The Diviner's Tale-by Bradford Morrow

Let me first start off by saying, this review is unlike most of my reviews. It is more, for lack of better words, “mushy,” maybe. This is because, very rarely do I come across a book I read that I see a great future for. When I chose this book, a mystery-suspense novel, I thought that was exactly what I was going to get. Maybe a story about a woman who helps solves crimes or something with her psychic abilities, not exactly original material, but could be a
Like the two-star rating indicates: It was an OK read. No more, no less.

In short, I was fascinated enough to want to read the story from cover to cover -- but too often the style and, well, "loose" storytelling annoyed me. I don't have a problem with stream-of-consciousness-like elements in a story, but they have to work seamlessly in a story; and that demand failed in this story. Now, don't get the wrong idea here -- I am not saying we have a stream-of-consciousness style á la Proust or Joyce,
Colleen Turner
Apr 08, 2010 Colleen Turner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read
I received an advance copy of The Diviner's Tale from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The Diviner's Tale is, quite simply, like nothing I have read before. It is part mystery, part thriller and part personal discovery. It seems impossible that a writer could combine the mystical and ordinary into one plausible plot, but somehow Bradford Morrow has.

Cassandra "Cass" Brooks is a part time teacher (a tradition following her mother) and a part time "diviner" (a tradition following her father and a long lin
Mar 30, 2011 Katyana rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A complex, intricate story told with such skill that it was a quick, engaging read. The prose was, at times, utterly beautiful. As a mystery, there wasn't ever really doubt as to who the bad guy was... but I think the bigger story (and the more poignant mystery) was what happened in Cassandra's past. I really enjoyed watching it all unfold.
Jul 22, 2010 Mary rated it really liked it
I finished the unproofed eGalley of The Diviner's Tale by Bradford Morrow last night, having read it on my new Kindle over the course of a few days. Before I talk about the novel itself, let me just say that the experience of reading unproofed galleys on an eReader is just the slightest bit unwieldy. For starters, the formatting can be nonexistent in places, with paragraphs running into each other, lack of double spaces between paragraphs, and the like. Nothing too daunting, just...unwieldy. I d ...more
Ana Mardoll
Mar 05, 2011 Ana Mardoll rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ana-reviewed
The Diviner's Tale / 978-0-547-38263-0

I'd not heard of Bradford Morrow before this book came available on Vine and NetGalley, but I will definitely have to check out his other novels after this exquisite tale. Equal parts an ambiguous tale of madness and magic (for we're never sure where the diviner's talents actually come from), a heart-warming tale of coming to terms with family disaster at all stages of life, and a terrifying tale of mystery and suspense, it's impossible to set down "The Divi
Jan 07, 2011 pickfordm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'm a huge fan of Bradford Morrow's and I've been waiting for this book, The Diviners Tale, for a long time. Not only is it worth the wait, it's one of the best contemporary novels I've read in years.

When the novel opens the narrator, Cassandra Brooks, describes her first "forevision," a premonition of her brother's death. It got me hooked right away and set up story lines which enrich the book throughout: Cassandra's strong yet complicated relationships with her family; the unique gifts that m
I am a librarian, and my job is to catalog U.S. government publications. A year or two ago I cataloged a little pamphlet by the U.S. Geological Survey called Water Witching. This little book was published in 1966, and it was the Geological Survey's brief examination into the history and validity of the practice of using Y-shaped sticks and/or dowsing rods to locate hidden sources of ground water. The pamphlet was quaint, a glimpse back into the past, and it did declare that the practice of water ...more
Laura Lulu
I really enjoyed this. It's a paranormal suspense, which I have to say, I'm a fan. The main character, Cass, is psychic, but basically denies it her entire life. She calls it her "monster", and everyone in her life thinks she's a bit crazy and needs professional help. By the end, she starts to learn to accept herself and her gift, and to realize that "normal" ain't all it's cracked up to be. So it's kind of a coming of age story for a 36 year old. It's never too late, is it?

But what I liked mos
Jan 05, 2011 Wonderbunny rated it liked it
Single sentence summary: Cassandra's family has always been dowsers and when searching for water on some property, she sees a young women hanging from a tree but when she returns to the spot with the police, the girl is no longer there.

I loved parts of this book and other times I had no idea where it was going. The first 70 percent of the novel felt like a meandering stream – beautiful at moments but without a set course. I kept hoping it was going somewhere and eventually it did...but it took
Jun 16, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
Single mom Cassandra Brooks comes from a long line of "diviners", or water dowsers, and her father has taught her the secrets of the craft. Some folks say she's a witch, and she has always felt like an outsider. One day while searching for a source of water on an about-to-be-developed farm, she comes upon the body of a young girl hanging by the neck from a tree. Horrified and saddened, she contacts the police, but when she leads them to the site, the body has disappeared. The Diviner's Tale is t ...more
I wish I had read the reviews here on Goodreads first! It would have saved several hours of my listening life, as I had this as an audiobook. After listening up through chapter 11, I wrathfully sent it back through the ether to the library!

The story, supposedly, is about a woman diviner who, when she is out divining for water for a developer, sees a dead girl hung by the neck in the woods. She calls the police, but when they go back to investigate, there is no body to be found. The next day, ho
Nov 08, 2011 Rebecca rated it did not like it
Frankly, this was a boring book. I thought the characters were flat and boring, and I never grew to care about any of them much. I also don't care for the author's writing style. Far from being a "Tale" it's mostly just a series of random and mostly meaningless flashbacks mixed with current events that weren't tied very closely together. I think the author depended too heavily on flashbacks to develop the characters, rather than letting their actions build their descriptions. I'm far from needin ...more
Shirley Jackson - "Our tragic Universe" - "The Girl with Glass Feet" - "The Raising" - "The Beginners" - "Diviners Tale"
Psychology meets biography meets supernatural meets good storytelling.

Dieser Roman gehört in die Reihe der "übernatürlichen" Bücher, aber letztlich wird hier vor allem die Geschichte einer Familie erzählt, die mit etlichen Schicksalsschlägen umgehen muß: Der frühe Unfalltod des Bruders der Protagonistin, die Alzheimererkrankung des Vaters; die Protagonistin ist alleinerziehend
Elaine Cramer
Illogical and idiotic at times, this book conjures good imagery and an intriguing premise, however the thought processes of the main character has me scratching my head more often than not. I'm listening to this, and I really don't appreciate the jumps in time. I'm not sure that's the reason though, why I find myself at times saying outloud, "WTF is she talking about now?" The recording has flaws in it which I found hard to ignore because I was being irritated by the story. Over all though, the ...more
Renita D'Silva
Mar 23, 2014 Renita D'Silva rated it liked it
Combining suspense with beautiful writing, this is a fast paced tale that kept me guessing. Liked Cassandra and the twins a lot. Was rooting for Cass all the way through. Interesting. Different. A good read.
Jodie "Bookish"  Cook
Dec 24, 2016 Jodie "Bookish" Cook rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Book Review

Title: The Diviner’s Tale

Author: Bradford Morrow

Genre: Horror/Psychological/Thriller

Rating: ****

Review: Cassandra Brooks is a single mother-of-two, schoolteacher and water diviner. Deep in the woods as she dowses the land for a property developer, she is confronted by the body of a young girl, swinging from a tree, hanged. When she returns with the authorities, the body has vanished. Already regarded as an eccentric, her story is disbelieved – until a girl turns up in the woods, alive
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
switterbug (Betsey)
Feb 22, 2011 switterbug (Betsey) rated it did not like it
Cassandra Brooks is a modern-day diviner, or dowser, living in upstate New York, the only woman in a long line of patriarchal diviners in her family. A dowser is someone who can sense a water source underneath layers of earth, (and sometimes minerals or other buried treasures), using a rudimentary Y-shaped rod or branch. This ancient art has not been embraced by the scientific community, and is often misunderstood as a pagan art. Cassandra's father, Nep, who is now declining from Alzheimer's, ha ...more
Jan 28, 2011 Ashlie rated it it was amazing

The Diviner’s Tale starts out immediately with a shock to the heart that makes it impossible to put down. The story has an air of despair, but really teaches about how to communicate past the sad and fear of life to discover one’s real self. The story takes a deeper twist that is heavier than the weight of death, containing elements of creepiness, and also hope for the beauty of life.

I loved, loved LOVED reading Cassandra’s story. Not only was it a mystery set in her present life, but an interes
Dec 20, 2011 Sonia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
La rabdomante.
Appena letto il titolo, in testa si mescolano pensieri e immagini: di persone di altri tempi con in mano bastoncini, di ruscelli e torrenti nascosti nei posti più impensabili, di luoghi pregni di magia e potere... Un titolo, o meglio una parola, evocativa: sentirla pronunciare, o leggerla, mi ha dato immediatamente l'effetto di qualcosa di antico e potente.
Un segreto nascosto, un mistero da scoprire: non potevo lasciarmelo sfuggire.
Osservavo la copertina e non capivo il legame c
May 16, 2014 Hendecam rated it it was ok
This book has a nice opening and overall promising premise, but the plot meanders all over the place. The pacing is consistently problematic, and there is no real tension or buildup that makes you want to finish the book. In fact, by the time I did reach the climax, it seemed a little forced and thrown in more as an afterthought.

The story centers around Cassandra, a diviner living in upstate New York with her twin boys. She comes from a long line of diviners and works part time dowsing land for
Feb 15, 2017 Emily rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2012 Eccentrika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, mystery, drama
"La rabdomante" è un romanzo con una trama molto particolare e difficile da categorizzare nei più conosciuti generi letterari; al suo interno vi è sicuramente del mistery, con un tocco di thriller e un accenno di paranormale, ma non è tutto. E' anche una storia intensa, dolorosa ed appassionante, una profonda indagine nei ricordi della protagonista, Cassandra, che dovrà affrontare i suoi fantasmi del passato per riuscire a sconfiggere quelli del presente. L'ambientazione estiva e ricca di elemen ...more
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Bradford Morrow is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, editor, and author of children’s books. He grew up in Colorado and traveled extensively before settling in New York City and launching the renowned literary journal Conjunctions. His novel The Almanac Branch was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and for Trinity Fields, Morrow received the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ A ...more
More about Bradford Morrow...

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“Names are doors to ideas” 4 likes
“How often do we use other people as screens upon which to project our obsessions? Our discontents, dreams, desires, and fears? Well, I always thought, often enough that its a wonder the whole waking world isn't simply viewed as an endless improvised film. One with as many screenwriters, producers, and directors as there are actors” 4 likes
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