Book Review: The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts

by | Oct 9, 2018 | Heidi's Updates

In a time of grief and heartache, an unlikely friendship provides strength and solace.

After leaving her son’s grave behind in Montgomery, Alabama, Delilah Evans has little faith that moving to her husband’s hometown in Pennsylvania will bring a fresh start. Enveloped by grief and doubt, the last thing Delilah imagines is becoming friends with her reclusive Amish neighbor, Emma Mullet—yet the secrets that keep Emma isolated from her own community bond her to Delilah in delicate and unexpected ways.

Delilah’s eldest daughter, Sparrow, bears the brunt of her mother’s pain, never allowed for a moment to forget she is responsible for her brother’s death. When tensions at home become unbearable for her, she seeks peace at Emma’s house and becomes the daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own—secrets that could devastate them all.

With the white, black, and Amish communities of Sinking Creek at their most divided, there seems to be little hope for reconciliation. But long-buried hurts have their way of surfacing, and Delilah and Emma find themselves facing their own self-deceptions. Together they must learn how to face the future through the healing power of forgiveness.

Eminently relevant to the beauty and struggle in America today, The Solace of Water offers a glimpse into the turbulent 1950s and reminds us that friendship rises above religion, race, and custom—and has the power to transform a broken heart.

My Thoughts: I’m not going to lie–I was completely drawn to The Solace of Water by the beautiful cover. To me, it conveyed a deep, more literary read and after I read the blurb and the first page, I was hooked.

This novel is about three women who are being told how they are divided. How they are different. How they do not belong. And yet their circumstances thrust them together and they are faced with the challenge of tearing down the lies they’ve been entrenched in their entire lives.

This book tackles some heavy issues and yet Younts treats them tactfully and with grace. Nothing is tied up in a neat bow, which this reader very much appreciates. The author grounds the reader so completely in each character that I felt their pain, their heartache, and their victories.

A brilliantly-told book with many layers, The Solace of Water is beautiful and authentic. 

Favorite Quote: “I think friends are supposed to keep each other honest.”

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