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The Heiress of Water

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  34 reviews
When young Monica Winters Borrero loses her luminous mother in an accident at sea, she is exiled from the tropical paradise that was her home. Grieving and cut off from a life among El Salvador's elite, Monica and her American father move to Connecticut, vowing never to look back.

Years later, an intriguing stranger, who has endured a terrible loss of his own, enters Monica
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published September 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Dov Zeller
I noticed while choosing my Goodreads "bookshelves" for this book that I have one shelf for snails and one for gastropods. Go figure. I checked both boxes for this because it starts off with an exploration of cone snails.

Well, it starts off with a mother-daughter relationship, and the mother, an El Salvadoran rebel-of-sorts--certainly frustrated by the economic reality of El Salvador, and struggling against it, though her own family is of the economic elite there--and scientist, is studying con
Oct 09, 2008 rated it liked it
The Heiress of Water by Sandra Rodriguez Barron is a book i blindly picked up from the bargain bin when i needed something to read and was out of rented books. for that, it was pretty good. Partly set in El Salvador, and partly in Connecticut, it's a very latin american styled book, like Isabelle Allende, who is even quoted on the front. Lots of that magical realism sort of thing, but a little toned down from some authors. The book is about the sea, and 2 generations trying to find medicine from ...more
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It's the first book in a while the kept me up late, late, late because I just wanted to see how it would end.

The basic plot centers on a woman who grew up in an extremely rich family in El Salvadore who fled with her American father to the States after her mother is killed during the Salvadoran revolution (uprising?). She becomes a physical therapist and through work beccomes involved with the mother and husband of a comatose woman. There's this whole part of the plo
Maria K.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
There are LOTS of thought provoking ideas and contrasting ideas brought up/discussed - definitely a good book club read. Contrasts like christianity/catholicism versus nature, wealth vs. poverty, traditional medicine vs. experimentation. Love is a big part of the book and the different aspects of love we all find within our lives and in our hearts. I really did like this book. I especially loved the imagery of the sea. I started out thinking negatively of this book - was worried it would be anot ...more
Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this novel. I love the mystical/magical aspects of it. I loved the descriptive language that takes me to a whole different world. I felt the characters were complex and engaging. I especially loved the water imagery throughout and the family mystery surrounding the characters. I found the Yvette chapters really interesting as I had never encountered a character who is in a comma through the entire book. Her point of view was really intriguing. However, I too felt the ending was wanting. ...more
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
The ending of this book doesn't answer the question "what happened?" Too much plot pressure was built up that was never released. The story line had great potential, but the book needed another 25 pages.

I felt all the characters were the same: they all had the same kind and level of wit, and seemed to operate under the same motivations.

An enjoyable read, but didn't really deliver.
Rebecca Konik
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Heiress of Water: novel

I enjoyed this book, I felt everything, the sea, the waves, the smells, laughter and pain. Life and it's circle, learning every day something new, along with past history...rooting for the goodness of it all. Thank you
Nancy JJ
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A rare find! A groundbreaking book with a potent mix of love, betrayal, science, mystery, history, and ethics.
Right off the bat my senses were taken on a trip to original and profound imagery as told by new author Sandra Rodriguez Barron in her deliciously smooth literary voice.
We witness Monica Winter's passage to self-discovery from El Salvador to Connecticut and back on what feels like a magical carpet where the impossible can and does happen - flawlessly. Just when you're enjoying the ride,
Mrs. Patton
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Oh the secrets families keep. And, oh how they reck havoc on all of their lives. Loved all the references to the sea and the medicinal power of sea creatures. Also, the quest for love is always a powerful force in all humans and Barron wrenches and twists this aspect of human nature in multiple ways.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Magical realism. Interesting storyline with some romantic interest, cultural class clashes, extreme passions, “broken” families (loss), secrets mixed together.
Emma Gregory
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Mother and husband hover over their wife and daughter who has been in a coma for 2 years after a car accident. Seeking help they run into Monica a woman who left El Salvador for Connecticut with her father at 12 after her mother drowned. Monica has researched marine shells that their poisonous venom jolts coma victims back to life. All parties end up back in El Salvador. The story kept me entertained and the ending was a pleaser
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
We read this for book club, and our "discussion" was only 10 minutes long. The book was a bit trite, and we didn't feel connected to any of the characters. I was interested enough to continue reading it, chapter after chapter, but it didn't draw conflicting viewpoints from it's readers as I think it intended to. ...more
Carole Davey
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Touching and moving

A story of love . . . a mother's love, a man's love for his wife, a daughter's love for her mother and her father, and so much more. It's also a story of betrayal, loss and recovery. The characters became real to me. I could feel what they felt. I could see what they saw. I felt as if I was present. What a gift.
May 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book had an interesting plot. It was different from anything else I have read in that regard. However, for me it was a little slow. Lots of dialogue that seemed a little forced and fake. I finished the book because I wanted to see how the story ended, not because I loved the style of writing.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
OK, I really, really wanted to like this book. But I found it enragingly implausible and boring. I felt no connection whatsoever to the characters. It was predictable. It was trite. It was a waste of my time and money.
Maria Maniaci
Jul 16, 2007 marked it as to-read
2007 Int. Lat. Book Awards--first fiction
Oct 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
beautifully written. smart. lyrical.

read this book now.
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
An interesting Mystery. It kept me on my toes.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
You shouldn't miss this one- a really nice summer read ...more
Apr 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book isn't life changing and it was sappy in parts but it was a page turner and I finished it pretty quickly. The plot revolves around venomous snails. ...more
Jennifer Bouchard
Aug 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Someone my dad knows wrote this book so I gave it a shot. It was actually pretty interesting. A little formulaic but the plot caught my attention and kept me interested. A good beach book.
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Like STAY WITH ME, the second book by Sandra, THE HEIRESS is outstanding. Sandra is one of my new favorites. You must read this book.....I couldn't put it down. ...more
Aug 15, 2012 added it
Shelves: book-club
look for the alternate ending on the author's website. it is her original vision of how the story would end, before she was talked into the editor's version. ...more
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Decent writing, but a very predictable plot.
Candace Petersen Martineau
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this well-written tale.
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-2013
I think for me it started off a little slow, but picked up, and I couldn't put it down!! It had this magical feel to it. Definitely a page turner and a good summer read. ...more
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a fantastic read! I wasn't able to predict what was going to happen and that is a good thing. ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Several plot points were a little too convenient. The whole thing felt a little too tidy. I wanted more conflict.
Catherine Riley
Good read. It kept you guessing. Part mystery. Part adventure.
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This Novel is perfect for a Movie.
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Sandra Rodriguez Barron was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico and has lived in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Florida International University. She is the recipient of a Bread Loaf Fellowship, a National Association for Latino Arts and Culture artist grant, and a Greater Hartford Arts Council Solo Writers Fellowship. She lives in Connecti ...more

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