Book review | Through the Waters and the Wild by Greg Fields


Author: Greg Fields

No. of pages: 345

Genre: Literary fiction

Published by: Koehler Books

Published on: 15th January 2021

Format: eBook

My rating: ★★★★☆

"I was hungry, seeing myself starving for want of something I could not define. I sought it constantly, sought it at every turn, searched every face I met for hints of it, looked everywhere I could conceive. I lost time trying to slake this unquenchable thirst, trying to satisfy an endlessly burning hunger. But in the end I knew precisely what I had been after all along. It is the folly of the young, part of their particular curse, to be so unaware, to be blind as well as hungry. To be in exile from themselves and not know they are away."

Haunted by lost loves and limping through a lifeless career, Conor Finnegan's discontent mirrors the restlessness of his grandfather Liam, caught as a young man in the crossfire of the Irish Civil War. Drawing from Liam's wisdom and courage, Conor seeks to reinvent his character and reclaim passions made numb by neglect and loss.

Through the Waters and the Wild addresses the timeless questions, "Where shall I go now? What shall I do?"

Conor Finnigan has a mundane life. After going through many successful times, a financially and emotionally wrecking divorce has now rendered him unambitious. As he reflects his failed marriage and aimless, unexciting life; he remembers a letter given to him by his Irish grandfather. Connor's grandfather Liam, faced a similar fate. Discontent with his simple life and the Irish civil war, Liam flees to America to live the American dream, leaving behind an unfateful father and younger brother.

As the two men in this multi-generational story discover their foothold in life, we get to explore the multitude of contentment in a person's life. What gives true satisfaction? Is taking risks worth the thrill one seeks in life?

This book gives you a sense of tranquility. You'll be transported back to the 1920's in Ireland. Though the narration is a bit languid, the descriptive imagery makes up for it. The book has a slow start, but as we are introduced to Liam's story, the story becomes enticing and intriguing. I was actually more invested in Liam’s life than Connor's.

This was a really likable, relable book. Connor could be me or you. We can also see ourselves at crossroads; and this book is a ray of hope. A beautifully crafted book and a story that is sure to touch your heart.

Greg Fields is the author of Arc of the Comet, a lyrical, evocative examination of promise, potential and loss, published by Koehler Books and released in October 2017. The book was nominated for the Cabell First Novelist Award, the Sue Kaufman First Fiction Prize and the Kindle Book of the Year in Literary Fiction. Inspired and informed by the expressively literate styles of Niall Williams, Colm Toibin and the best of Pat Conroy, Through the Waters and the Wild explores themes of exile and redemption in prose described by Owen Thomas, award winning author of The Lion Trees, as 'wonderful, compelling and luminous.' Greg is also the co-author with Maya Ajmera of Invisible Children: Reimagining International Development from the Grassroots. He has won recognition for his written work in presenting the plight of marginalized young people through his tenure at the Global Fund for Children, and has had articles published in the Harvard International Review, as well as numerous periodicals, including The Washington Post and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. His short nonfiction has appeared in The Door Is A Jar and Gettysburg Review literary reviews. An accomplished and well respected editor as well, Greg lives in Manassas, Virginia. He may be reached as

I received a copy of the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review. 


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