On a recent episode (291) of the Australian Writers’ Centre podcast, Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios was interviewed in relation to her latest book ‘The Emerald Tablet’. It was as I was listening that I realised that she was involved in ‘The Water Diviner’ which was a film that I had recently watched on BBC iplayer (for the first time). I thoroughly enjoyed the film and thought, oh there’s a book. So I had a look at the local library catalogue and lo and behold there was a copy.
So I mentioned that I was intending to read it on Twitter and had an exchange with Meaghan.
Title: The Water Diviner
Author: Andrew Anastasios and Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios
Format: Paperback, 348 pages
Publisher: Pan Books, Pan Macmillan
Source: local library
About the book:
Constantinople, 1919. Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer, arrives in Turkey to fulfil a pledge made on his wife’s grave – to find the bodies of their three sons, lost in battle in Gallipoli, and bring them home.
In the enemy city Connor meets Orhan, a mischievous Turkish boy, and his mother Ayshe. who is struggling to keep her family hotel afloat and rebuild her life after the war.
Connor can trace life-giving water under the earth, but finding his sons at Gallipoli seems impossible when faced with the gruesome landscape of sun-bleached bones and rotting uniforms. But a Turkish officer gives the broken father hope where there was none – Connor’s eldest son may still be alive.
As Connor risks his life travelling into the heart of Anatolia one question haunts him: If his son is alive why hasn’t he come home?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post I watched the film first. I’m not a fan of doing this, but it is what happened. So as I was reading the book, I could see Russell Crowe constantly as the main character. He plays the father who heads to Turkey to find his sons.
I really liked the film and I absolutely loved the book. I think it makes for a beautiful, moving read that sets the scene marvellously well. War is a sad topic to depict but there are some cheerful moments within the book.
If you haven’t seen the film or read the book I urge you to do both, you won’t regret it.