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  • Two Roads

All the Water in the World

Karen Raney

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A stunning debut novel about a teenage girl and her mother, as they grapple with first love, family secrets and tragedy

'An extraordinary achievement for a first novel: tender, heartfelt and heart-breaking' Francis Spufford, author of GOLDEN HILL
'Deeply rewarding and wholly unforgettable' Bret Anthony Johnston, author of REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS
'Captivating and warm and real' Janet Ellis, author of HOW IT WAS
'Astonishingly moving' Joanna Hershon, author of A DUAL INHERITANCE
'A deep, genuine investigation of memory, the pain of loss, and the strength of a mother's love' Publishers Weekly

Maddy is sixteen. Deeply curious, wry and vivacious, she's poised at the outset of adulthood. She has loyal friends, a mother with whom she's unusually close, a father she's never met, devoted grandparents, and a crush on a boy named Jack. Maddy also has cancer.

Hungry for experience despite living in the shadow of illness, Maddy seeks out her first romantic relationship, ponders philosophical questions, finds solace in music and art, and tracks down her father, Antonio. She continually tests the depths and limits of her closeness with her mother, while Eve has to come to terms with the daughter she loves and only partly knows, in a world she can't control.

For fans of Celeste Ng and John Boyne, ALL THE WATER IN THE WORLD is the story of a family doing its best when faced with the worst. Told in the alternating voices of Maddy and her mother, Eve, the narrative moves between the family's lake house in Pennsylvania, their home in Washington, DC, and London.

Unforgettable and singularly moving, with voices that range from tender to funny, despairing to defiant, this novel is a poignant testimony to the transformative power of love, humour and hope.

Optioned for film by Monumental Pictures/Lionsgate.

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Praise for All the Water in the World

  • An extraordinary achievement for a first novel: tender, heartfelt and heart-breaking. - Francis Spufford, author of GOLDEN HILL

  • Karen Raney is a writer of rare gifts - nuanced characters, shimmering prose, and a riveting story. All the Water in the World is heart-rending in its power and gorgeous in its telling, a deeply rewarding and wholly unforgettable debut novel. - Bret Anthony Johnston, author of REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS

  • Tough subject matter ... tackled with real insight in beautifully written prose

  • - Blake Morrison, Professor of Creative Writing at Goldsmiths

  • I loved this. It's captivating and warm and real and I adored being in Maddy and Eve's company. The setting is perfectly described, the characters are perfectly drawn and the story is a layered delight. It almost broke my heart - and entirely restored my faith in human nature. - Janet Ellis, author of HOW IT WAS

  • With a lyric and suspenseful intensity reminiscent of Sue Miller, Karen Raney has written an astonishingly moving novel about the boundaries and boundlessness of life and love. - Joanna Hershon, author of A DUAL INHERITANCE and THE OUTSIDE OF AUGUST

  • All The Water in the World is a book about life and death, joy and grief fused together, both affirming and heartbreaking. In Eve and Maddy, Karen Raney has created a mother-daughter relationship as fraught and passionate as any in recent memory. "Do everything all at once" is Maddy's philosophy as well as the motto of this kinetic and beautiful book. - Darcey Steinke, author of Easter Everywhere

  • Raney's ardent debut examines love and loss through the eyes of Maddy, a vibrant 16-year-old girl diagnosed with cancer, and Eve, her loving mother . . . Raney's pleasing tale is a deep, genuine investigation of memory, the pain of loss, and the strength of a mother's love. - Publishers' Weekly

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Karen Raney

Karen Raney recently gained an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths and was awarded the Pat Kavanagh Prize for All the Water in the World when the novel was still a work-in-progress. A painter, academic, and former editor, Raney teaches Fine Art at the University of East London. She grew up in the US and lives in London.

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