It was a thin black hardcover book, do you have it in stock?
February 6, 2014 5:18 PM   Subscribe

In 1994 I started to read a book and got interrupted. I only remember one striking description from the first few pages. Because I only remember that one image, I'm hoping that if I can get a collection of books or short stories with imagery like my description one of them will be the right book.

The book began with a description of a small town below which the aquifer was very close to the surface. The description concluded by saying that it were as if everyone in town walked on water, but not in those exact words.

Please give me the names of stories or books that have references to characters walking on water. If the description above sounds familiar, please let me know, otherwise I'll just read all the recommendations to see if any of them are the book of which I'm thinking.

I know this is the very forlornest of hopes, but I've seen more unlikely questions succeed.
posted by winna to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If it helps, this kind of aquifier is called an artesian aquifier. The link contains a list of towns that meet this criteria.

I would assume, but just to check, is the book fiction?
posted by DisreputableDog at 5:48 PM on February 6, 2014

I don't know what binding you had, but could it be Marilynne Robinson's wonderful, thin novel Housekeeping? Lots of water imagery there, and the "feel" is pretty close.
posted by nkknkk at 6:30 PM on February 6, 2014

Response by poster: I believe it was fiction, but I'm not sure.

nkknkk, that book looks fascinating and I've added it to my list to read, but I don't think that was it. I think the book I'm looking for was in third person.
posted by winna at 6:58 PM on February 6, 2014

Was it any of these? I got here trying to find a novel that my book club read years ago that centered on the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts, which I think might have been it. None of these is ringing that bell for me (and I'm frustrated about it!) but maybe one of them will for you.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:20 PM on February 6, 2014

Dlugoczaj, does this help answer your question? None of them fit winna's 1994 requirement, though...
posted by booksherpa at 7:34 PM on February 6, 2014

Response by poster: It wasn't written in 1994, just to clarify. That was when I tried to read it. It was written in a modern style, though, so probably not written before 1920 or so.
posted by winna at 4:08 AM on February 7, 2014

Odd question, semi-relevant: What continent were you on while reading?
posted by DisreputableDog at 6:36 AM on February 7, 2014

Response by poster: North America! It was spring.
posted by winna at 7:07 AM on February 7, 2014

Additional suggestion: if you don't get your answer here, I've found Seattle Public Library's Ask a Librarian feature to be enormously helpful in situations like yours.
posted by duffell at 10:36 AM on February 7, 2014

I have been reading a bunch of Australian novels lately and all of them seem to have some mention of the Great Artesian Basin - namely the ones set in the Outback/Northern Territory/Queensland/New South Wales. It seemed to me to be kind of a trope in Australian literature. Could it have been Australian?
posted by urbanlenny at 10:39 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

(Oh, though I should add that this sought-after passage does not fit any of the novels I have recently read that take place in that region and that mention the G.A.B., including A Town Like Alice, The Thorn Birds and Oscar and Lucinda, to remove a few needles from the haystack ;) ).
posted by urbanlenny at 11:20 AM on February 7, 2014

Response by poster: It could have been Australian - I don't remember any location specific details in the description.

Thanks to everyone for their help - even if we don't pin it down I will have some new books to read!
posted by winna at 11:59 AM on February 7, 2014

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