by Lidia Yuknavitch
Hawthorne Books – April 2011
310 pages; $15.95
Writer and university professor Lidia Yuknavitch’s life hasn’t been easy. In a lot of ways it has been about just keeping her head above water and letting the chips fall where they may.
The Chronology of Water is a memoir unlike anything I have ever read. This book is a living breathing work of art. A completely absorbing visceral experience.
From a young age, Lidia immersed herself in the sport of competitive swimming. An Olympic hopeful, her talents ultimately took her to college on a scholarship, and away from home. A home that was filled with fear and abuse at the hands of her father and complacent alcoholic mother. The years of abuse she suffered, her growing up, her fear, her relationships, her self-destructive actions, her human and artistically spiritual growth are all brilliantly captured in this book.
The Chronology of Water is gritty, raw, and alive with emotion. It is impossible for the reader to not experience a whole series of emotions when devouring this intimate look at Lidia’s life. The use of water as a metaphor – for everything from life, death, safety, beauty – coupled with the uniquely structured telling of her life’s story, will have the reader intellectually engaged until the very end of this book.
In the end, after your emotions have endured a full and brutal workout, this book will leave you hopeful and inspired. I guarantee you’ve never read anything like this.
For more information on The Chronology of Water, please visit the publisher’s website at: http://www.hawthornebooks.com/catalogue/#33