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The River Witch
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August 2012 > Names and The River Witch

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Jennifer King (JenniferLynKing) | 32 comments Mod
“People told their secrets, one way or another, and not just with their words. Damascus knew how to lay low and still. Daddy called it testing the waters. He was a man with currents and tides and that made people nervous, but Damascus was named after a river. And that’s how she knew her mama’d understood about Daddy, too. She’d bestowed the name Damascus on purpose.” — The River Witch, chapter 2, by Kimberly Brock

Great New Books August book pick: The River Witch

Great New Books August book pick: The River Witch

If you haven’t guessed it by now, Kimberly Brock’s novel The River Witch is full of beautiful passages, characters, and imagery. Not only are the characters rich and layered as people moving on the page, but their names lend to the mystery drawn into the novel itself.

Last week, we asked you to name your favorite characters in The River Witch. We’re excited to draw the name from the comments to see who wins the Polish Pottery mug giveaway … but first, we have The River Witch‘s author, Kimberly Brock, on how she chose the name for her novel:

“When I was writing The River Witch, I had several working titles. None of them seemed to really fit the bill. It takes me forever to come up with a title and I was never happy with the first attempts. Only after I had finished the book did an idea occur to me as the themes and characters were fully realized.

Without giving too much away for those who haven’t read the novel, I can say that I enjoy a little ambiguity in a good book and I intentionally leave a few questions unanswered. I realized that one of those questions had to do with identity, how people perceive you, and whether a person’s reputation may transcend their reality and have a power of it’s own.

For the characters in The River Witch, that is certainly true, and in particular for the women. The people and the island are full of mysticism, superstition and rumors of magic, but I found the truly transforming magic came from the women. And so, I titled the book for them.

I leave it up to the reader to decide what they believe about these characters and which of them (or all of them) may be the River Witch.”

-Kimberly Brock, for Great New Books

I love what you’ve shared. Thanks, Kimberly!
Polish Pottery mug, hand-painted in Boleslawiec, Poland

Polish Pottery mug, hand-painted in Boleslawiec, Poland

Thank you to all of you for sharing your favorite name from the book in the comments from last week’s post. We at Great New Books love giveaways, and have more planned for next month. So if you didn’t win this month, there are more to come. Okay, for the giveaway … the winner of the Polish Pottery mug is … Natalia!

(via Random Name Picker at

Happy sipping coffee while you read each month’s Great New Book with us! Please email us at greatnewbooks1 (at) gmail (dot) com and let us know your address. We’ll get it in the mail to you right away.

For Discussion: As Kimberly talked about the women in the book, who do you think may be the River Witch?

As you read this week, collect your favorite quotes as you read The River Witch, and share them with us next Wednesday, August 29th, for our final post on The River Witch here at GreatNewBooks. Happy reading!

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