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Memory of Water
by Emmi Itaranta
Harper Voyager, $14.99 TPB, 305pp
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
An interesting post-apocalyptic story. Global warming has made fresh water the scarcest commodity. Young Noria lives in the Scandinavian Union, ruled by China , where water is rationed and the Water Police punish transgressors. Noria is learning to be a Tea Master from her father, even against the male tradition. But to be a Tea Master turns out to be much more than she suspected as it is only the Tea Masters who know the secret places of fresh water. And one of those secret, hidden springs is on her family’s property. This is a secret kept by her family for generations but with her father’s death and her mother’s absence, Noria has trouble keeping the secret from her neighbors who are dying for lack of water. But a surplus of water in their tiny village doesn’t go unnoticed by the authorities.

But that isn’t the only secret Noria is burdened with. She and her best friend have found evidence that the government is hiding something from everyone. A secret that they’ve been using to control the population; a secret that could change everything. And one that Noria and Sanja might die trying to prove.

The book is written in the first person and is done well. The prose is a bit stilted but I think that contributed somewhat to the tone of the story. The plot was simplistic and a bit too contrived but I liked the end. ~~ Catherine Book

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