• tomefries

The Water Thief by Claire Hajaj

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Summary: Nick leaves his fiance and life to spend a year building a hospital in a remote area of Africa. However, his efforts to help a suffering village end up doing more harm than good.

{Free book alert! Thank you Oneworld Publications for the copy.}

Review: There is an expectation when we do good deeds and help others that we will see the benefit and receive their gratitude, but Nick learns (as those in helping professions already know) that sometimes your good intentions make things much worse. (And people are just the worst.)

The Water Thief was definitely an interesting story about human nature, greed, and the ends people will go to in order to maintain power. I enjoyed each character's struggles and perspectives. While none of them were unexpected, they were realistic, which was fine because I wasn't expecting a thriller. (Sometimes the predictable is even more shocking and terrifying than any Stephen King novel!)

The style was also interesting as it flipped between a third-person perspective of Nicholas and the first-person narrative of JoJo. (Although I had some difficulty flipping between accents in my head so much - especially with the added Irish and French.)

I do have to admit that it took me longer than normal to finish this one. While the writing was good and the plot engaging, I didn't feel myself compelled to keep reading. It is uncommon for me to find it difficult to pick up a book, but I did with this one. (Back to school could have contributed some though as I now have homework duty, as well as have to cook dinner, schedule bath time, and do laundry again! Ugh!)

There was also one little piece that bothered me and that was that the location of the village where Nicholas goes is left very vague. All that is said is that it is somewhere in the African desert. No specific country is even mentioned which reminded me too much of the fact that many people in America think that Africa itself is just one big country. (But don't you dare confuse an Alabaman with a New Yorker!)

Overall, though, I did enjoy the book. It was enlightening to the struggles of living in the desert with no access to water. It was definitely worth the read!


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