The Water and the Blood by Nancy E. Turner
A Novel

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I turned and faced the road we'd come down, my face hard and set. The kids moved on without me. I could still see a slight glow and the murky, gray smoke reaching above the trees, where it spread to the south....

When I thought they were out of earshot, I took a deep breath. "You lied to me," I whispered toward the building, to all the people it represented, to the hours I'd spent on those hard, split-log seats, and to my childish epiphanies born there .... "You lied," I said. "These are my best friends now."

Rare is the gift of a writer who is able to conjure up the voices of very different worlds, to give them heat and power and make them sing. Such is the talent of Nancy E. Turner. Her beloved first novel, These Is My Words, opened readers to the challenges of a woman's life in the nineteenth-century Southwest. Now this extraordinary writer shifts her gaze to a very different world -- East Texas in the years of the Second World War -- and to the life of a young woman named Philadelphia Summers, known against her will as Frosty.

From the novel's harrowing opening scene, Frosty's eyes survey the landscape around her -- white rural America -- with the awestruck clarity of an innocent burned by sin. In her mother and sisters she sees fear and small-mindedness; in the eyes of local boys she sees racial hatred and hunger for war. When that war finally comes, it offers her a chance for escape -to California, and the caring arms of Gordon Benally a Native-American soldier. But when she returns to Texas she must face the rejection of a town still gripped by suspicion -- and confront the memory of the crime that has marked her soul since adolescence.

Propelled by the quiet power of one woman's voice, The Water and the Blood is a moving and unforgettable portrait of an America of haunted women and dangerous fools -- an America at once long perished and with us still.


About Nancy E. Turner

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Nancy E. Turner was born in Dallas, Texas, and currently lives with her husband, John, in Tucson, Arizona. She started college when her children were grown and completed a bachelor's degree in fine arts at the University of Arizona with a triple major in creative writing, music, and studio art. During the seven years it took to complete her degree, Turner wrote her first two novels, These Is My Words and The Water and the Blood. Sarah's Quilt is her sequel to the bestselling These Is My Words. Both novels are based on family stories about her own great-grandmother, who created the quilt shown on the cover.
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 420 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Water and the Blood

Publishers Weekly

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After graduation, Frosty escapes the confines of Sabine by convincing her parents she must travel to southern California to work in a factory to help the war effort.

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Book Reporter

Unaware of the enormity of the crime that was committed that fiery night several years before, Frosty returns home with Gordon to discover just how deep the racial hatred is that runs through the town's population.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Water and the Blood: A Novel

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