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A Life Without Water

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Healing can take a lifetime... Carol Denman divorced her husband over twenty years ago and has never looked back. But on the day before their daughter’s thirtieth birthday, John barges back into Carol’s life with a request that threatens the fragile stability she has built. John Bowman is sick. Very sick. While he still can, he has some amends to make and some promises to fu Healing can take a lifetime... Carol Denman divorced her husband over twenty years ago and has never looked back. But on the day before their daughter’s thirtieth birthday, John barges back into Carol’s life with a request that threatens the fragile stability she has built. John Bowman is sick. Very sick. While he still can, he has some amends to make and some promises to fulfill. But to do that, he not only needs his ex-wife’s agreement…he needs her. With the past hovering between them like a ghost, Carol and John embark on a decades-overdue road trip. Together they plunge back into a life without water…but which may ultimately set them free.


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Healing can take a lifetime... Carol Denman divorced her husband over twenty years ago and has never looked back. But on the day before their daughter’s thirtieth birthday, John barges back into Carol’s life with a request that threatens the fragile stability she has built. John Bowman is sick. Very sick. While he still can, he has some amends to make and some promises to fu Healing can take a lifetime... Carol Denman divorced her husband over twenty years ago and has never looked back. But on the day before their daughter’s thirtieth birthday, John barges back into Carol’s life with a request that threatens the fragile stability she has built. John Bowman is sick. Very sick. While he still can, he has some amends to make and some promises to fulfill. But to do that, he not only needs his ex-wife’s agreement…he needs her. With the past hovering between them like a ghost, Carol and John embark on a decades-overdue road trip. Together they plunge back into a life without water…but which may ultimately set them free.

30 review for A Life Without Water

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    3.5 stars. Carol is still deeply grieving for her husband who died eight months ago. She buries herself in work to numb the pain. One day her assistant explains her ex-husband, John, is at her office wanting to speak with her. She hasn’t seen her first husband in over two decades since the death of their six-year-old daughter Katie. Carol still blames John for Katie’s death. After all these years, John has sobered up and is looking to make peace with Carol and find closure. This story is every mot 3.5 stars. Carol is still deeply grieving for her husband who died eight months ago. She buries herself in work to numb the pain. One day her assistant explains her ex-husband, John, is at her office wanting to speak with her. She hasn’t seen her first husband in over two decades since the death of their six-year-old daughter Katie. Carol still blames John for Katie’s death. After all these years, John has sobered up and is looking to make peace with Carol and find closure. This story is every mother’s worst nightmare — the death of your young child. The author did an excellent job portraying the characters grief and sense of loss. There is a lot of death in this novel which I was aware of ahead of time so I was prepared. I was in tears a couple times, although not nearly as much as I would have thought. There was something about the writing that kept me at somewhat of a distance from the characters and prevented me from feeling fully invested. There were a few things that stood out and didn’t work for me with this novel. There were several scenes and situations that felt cliche and predictable. The arguments and fighting between Carol and John became annoying and felt overdone and repetitive by the end. I didn’t particularly “like” Carol or John (I did love Tobias and his family!) The characters used the word “huh?” too often. Unfortunately these things did take away from my overall enjoyment and connection to the book. It was a good read, but not nearly as emotional or great of a read as I had hoped.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    I shed so many tears with this one. You better have your emotions in the right place before reading this amazing story. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have to say upfront I was afraid to read this book. I knew it was going to be a heartbreaker and I was not wrong. Tears would literally pour from my eyes. I had to stop reading it several times. But I also had to continue! This story is every persons nightmare. I was shocked at John. My heart broke for Carol/Caroline. I could not even fathom doing what I shed so many tears with this one. You better have your emotions in the right place before reading this amazing story. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have to say upfront I was afraid to read this book. I knew it was going to be a heartbreaker and I was not wrong. Tears would literally pour from my eyes. I had to stop reading it several times. But I also had to continue! This story is every persons nightmare. I was shocked at John. My heart broke for Carol/Caroline. I could not even fathom doing what they had to do. But what an impression on my heart and soul. The author did an amazing job delving into the human condition and psyche of our reactions to marriage, love, having children, and everything surrounding relationships. I could see so much of my life in this book. Just writing this now is bringing tears to my eyes. But it really made me look at my own relationships too! While this is a heartbreaking story, it is one that had to be written and one that will be devoured by you. A Life Without Water is deeply insightful, highly emotional, and a must read. But a word of caution… emotionally you have to be in a good place. There are triggers regarding children in this and sorrow that can swallow you whole. This is the first time having read this author. Marci Bolden is an amazing talent that will capture your attention and not let go. You may feel a bit worse for the moment but in the end all is well with the world. Great novel! *Copy received for review consideration Full Review - https://amidlifewife.com/a-life-witho...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    A Life Without Water is my first novel by Marci Bolden. John and Carol reunite twenty four years after losing their child. Their reuniting is quite unique and takes us on a intense roller coaster ride of raw emotions. A truly emotional story about love, loss and forgiveness. Thank you to NetGalley and Pink Sand Press for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    I have two weeks to make a lifetime of memories. A Life Without Water ~~ Marci Bolden A Life Without Water is the first book I have ever read by Marci Bolden. A Life Without Water is the last book I will ever read by Marci Bolden. Rarely, have I disliked a book so much. How do I really feel about A Life Without Water? I could eat a ream of paper and puke a better book. I have two weeks to make a lifetime of memories. A Life Without Water ~~ Marci Bolden A Life Without Water is the first book I have ever read by Marci Bolden. A Life Without Water is the last book I will ever read by Marci Bolden. Rarely, have I disliked a book so much. How do I really feel about A Life Without Water? I could eat a ream of paper and puke a better book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adele Shea

    I am a bit lost for words after reading this book. I certainly was not expecting to be crying so much at the end. You can feel the loss that Caroline suffered with every page that is turned. I could also feel the pain that John was going through. How far would you go to help someone that ruined your life? Can you truly forgive?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Slight spoiler alert* 3.5 stars. I am definitely in the minority in that I am not giving it a 4 or 5. I thought it moved quite slow, and the characters were hard to like. I thought the scene where they were fighting over the urn with the daughter's ashes was ridiculous and showed a lot of mental instability in both parents. I almost quit reading at this point. This is not my usual genre and that may be why it didn't grab me like it seems to have grabbed the other reviewers. Slight spoiler alert* 3.5 stars. I am definitely in the minority in that I am not giving it a 4 or 5. I thought it moved quite slow, and the characters were hard to like. I thought the scene where they were fighting over the urn with the daughter's ashes was ridiculous and showed a lot of mental instability in both parents. I almost quit reading at this point. This is not my usual genre and that may be why it didn't grab me like it seems to have grabbed the other reviewers.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heather O'connor-roskopf

    A Life Without Water....such a healing story for me to read. I lost my son in Nov 2014. He was physically and mentally handicapped. I can remember the day after he passed having the most difficult decision to bury him or cremate. I decided to cremate him so I could spread his ashes to all of the beautiful places that he never had an opportunity to travel to. Frankie is now in 6 different states and 5 National Parks. I will be visiting Joshua National Park in April to spread some of his ashes and A Life Without Water....such a healing story for me to read. I lost my son in Nov 2014. He was physically and mentally handicapped. I can remember the day after he passed having the most difficult decision to bury him or cremate. I decided to cremate him so I could spread his ashes to all of the beautiful places that he never had an opportunity to travel to. Frankie is now in 6 different states and 5 National Parks. I will be visiting Joshua National Park in April to spread some of his ashes and Alaska in August. Thank you for helping to heal my soul a little bit more. I enjoyed this book very much. I'm looking forward to reading more from Marci Bolden. 💗

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    Carol Denman’s ex husband, John Bowman, finds her after they haven’t seen each other in over twenty years. John is very sick and asks Carol to go on a road trip they were supposed to go on before their divorce. A Life Without Water is a very emotional book. I was very invested in the story since the beginning. I really liked Carol and John and many of the other characters. I recommend A Life Without Water for anyone that likes emotional fiction and family drama. Thank you NetGalley and Pink Sand Carol Denman’s ex husband, John Bowman, finds her after they haven’t seen each other in over twenty years. John is very sick and asks Carol to go on a road trip they were supposed to go on before their divorce. A Life Without Water is a very emotional book. I was very invested in the story since the beginning. I really liked Carol and John and many of the other characters. I recommend A Life Without Water for anyone that likes emotional fiction and family drama. Thank you NetGalley and Pink Sand Press for A Life Without Water in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paula Reyes Wagner

    First I want to thank Netgalley for providing me wth this ebook. This was an intense journey. Carol is recently a widow and has a past she wants to forget, and she has managed to do that until now, that her ex husband showed up from nowhere to bring all those memories back and she's forced to confront what she has dreaded for 24 years. I had an idea of what I would find in this story, but it was more than a I thought. It's narrated from Carol/Caroline's POV, and we get to know pieces of her past First I want to thank Netgalley for providing me wth this ebook. This was an intense journey. Carol is recently a widow and has a past she wants to forget, and she has managed to do that until now, that her ex husband showed up from nowhere to bring all those memories back and she's forced to confront what she has dreaded for 24 years. I had an idea of what I would find in this story, but it was more than a I thought. It's narrated from Carol/Caroline's POV, and we get to know pieces of her past through some extracts availabe in every chapter. This is a book about grieve, loss and forgiveness. At first I was as reluctant as Carol to hear what John had to say and to do what he wanted her to do. But in the end, I saw what was really important. I loved how Carol evolves through the story, how she comes to accept all that has happended to her (which is not little). Also, there's some humor in here, I was surprised by that and enjoyed it a lot. This is a beautiful book, but to read it you have to be strong emotionally speaking, there are "trigger warnings" relating to children and it can be very unsettling if you've lived something like losing a child. Eventhough, I thoght the author did a great job telling this story, it's highly emotional and it succeeds at showing the insight of the main character.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alyson Larrabee

    Amateurish, cliche filled writing. Limited character development. Predicable plot. I also found the author’s descriptions of grief to be emotionally manipulative. I read most of it, then skimmed to the end, only because my book club chose it for this month. I really like the women in my club and respect that some genres aren’t for everyone. Maybe you just need to be a certain type of reader who likes this particular genre. Not my cup of tea, though. PS. I'm writing this part after the book club m Amateurish, cliche filled writing. Limited character development. Predicable plot. I also found the author’s descriptions of grief to be emotionally manipulative. I read most of it, then skimmed to the end, only because my book club chose it for this month. I really like the women in my club and respect that some genres aren’t for everyone. Maybe you just need to be a certain type of reader who likes this particular genre. Not my cup of tea, though. PS. I'm writing this part after the book club met, and no one in the club liked A Life Without Water. I wasn't the only one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling

    Wow, what an emotional rollercoaster this was. Get the tissues ready! This was beautiful heart wrenching and life-affirming and everything I expected it to be. The characters were wonderful, I felt their pain, their anger and their guilt. As someone who has recently lost her sister, this has made me see my pain and guilt in a different way. Utterly unforgettable and I cannot wait to see what the sequel to Carol's story has in store. Wow, what an emotional rollercoaster this was. Get the tissues ready! This was beautiful heart wrenching and life-affirming and everything I expected it to be. The characters were wonderful, I felt their pain, their anger and their guilt. As someone who has recently lost her sister, this has made me see my pain and guilt in a different way. Utterly unforgettable and I cannot wait to see what the sequel to Carol's story has in store.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessi Palandrani

    I absolutely loved this book. I could not put it down. It’s a sad yet heartwarming story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Depressing as hell. Long, dragged out, repetitive, and redundant. A couple travels across the country with their dead daughter’s ashes and constantly rehashes how miserable they were, how miserable their marriage was, how they sucked as parents, and how unhappy their life has been. I had to skim the last half because I could barely read it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I read this book from cover to cover and never felt connected to it, either through the characters or the storyline. I don't understand exactly why, but that's the way I feel. Thank you to NetGalley and Pink Sand Press for the opportunity to read and review this book. I read this book from cover to cover and never felt connected to it, either through the characters or the storyline. I don't understand exactly why, but that's the way I feel. Thank you to NetGalley and Pink Sand Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda Ruff

    All the feelings! I can’t put into words how I feel about this book! A story about love heartbreak and forgiveness This book kept me on edge to find out what actually happened. If you need a good cry this one is for you!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Magda Fourie Fourie

    I enjoyed this book very much. From the get go you are immerged into Carol's world and you become part of her life. The story kept playing with my emotions, I switched my allegiance so many times. Although the end was no surprise, it still made me cry. What a wonderful journey. I enjoyed this book very much. From the get go you are immerged into Carol's world and you become part of her life. The story kept playing with my emotions, I switched my allegiance so many times. Although the end was no surprise, it still made me cry. What a wonderful journey.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    "The quiet that fell between them was filled with emotional grenades-a thousand things she wanted to say, old resentments and accusations that wanted to force themselves to the surface, anger and blame that had waited too damned long to be unleashed. She had her fingers on the pins, ready to pull and throw the bombs if he dared push her on this. If he dared make her feel guilty for not wanting to be dragged back into the hell he always brought with him." Carols ex-husband of over 20 years shows u "The quiet that fell between them was filled with emotional grenades-a thousand things she wanted to say, old resentments and accusations that wanted to force themselves to the surface, anger and blame that had waited too damned long to be unleashed. She had her fingers on the pins, ready to pull and throw the bombs if he dared push her on this. If he dared make her feel guilty for not wanting to be dragged back into the hell he always brought with him." Carols ex-husband of over 20 years shows up the day before their daughter's 30th birthday asking for her help. This sets in a motion a road to reflection and forgiveness. Told from the viewpoint of Carol and alternating between the start of their marriage to the end. I enjoyed the writing and the way the story was written. Sometimes it's hard to learn things about your self that are hard to accept.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beth Hawley

    I’m not quite sure how this book received so many high ratings. To me, the main character, Caroline, was not likable. I tried to give her time to grow on me, hoping the story would reveal a change or evolution of character, but for me that did not really happen. The story as a whole did not progress much and seemed very predictable.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Have your box of tissues ready for this one😭 . I really enjoyed this book by Marci Bolden. She crafted a story about tragedy, forgiveness, love, and acceptance. The characters were likable and relatable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marci Bolden

    Don't forget to enter to win an autographed copy of A Life Without Water! Contest ends 10-26-2020. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh... Don't forget to enter to win an autographed copy of A Life Without Water! Contest ends 10-26-2020. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy Lee

    This is a heart wrenching tale of forgiveness. Carol’s life is turned upside down when her ex husband shows up after 25 years and forces her to confront her feelings of anger, resentment and grief. I really liked this story and the emotional journey that Carol and John experience.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    A story of loss and forgiveness. Trigger warning (view spoiler)[ this is about the death of their 6 year old child Katie.They divorce and haven't seen each other since the tragedy. 24 years later John is dying and wants to scatter Kathie's ashes around all the places he and his ex wife Carol talked about going with her. Their daughter would have been 30. It's super emotional. John has to come to terms with all the mistakes he made in his life before it ends, and this trip with Carol is how he do A story of loss and forgiveness. Trigger warning (view spoiler)[ this is about the death of their 6 year old child Katie.They divorce and haven't seen each other since the tragedy. 24 years later John is dying and wants to scatter Kathie's ashes around all the places he and his ex wife Carol talked about going with her. Their daughter would have been 30. It's super emotional. John has to come to terms with all the mistakes he made in his life before it ends, and this trip with Carol is how he does it. Heartbreaking read. This isn't a romance. This is a story of two people who find healing and say good-bye to each other and the past. (hide spoiler)]

  23. 4 out of 5

    Briana Perez

    This book kept my attention, and I did have that desire to keep reading. However, I wasn’t emotionally attached to the character, Carol. Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids yet. Although it’s sad what happened to her daughter, I didn’t feel like the book transported me to a place where I could feel that pain with her. I just wasn’t emotionally invested.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    This new to me author writes a smooth flowing story. The story was packed full of emotions. The emotions and actions of the characters were true-to-life. What happened in the story was very everyday occurrence. Caro; proved to be a really strong, no nonsense person. The picture of the red boots on the cover had a meaning in the story. I do plan to read more books by this author.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sherri Thacker

    A very heartbreaking book that grabbed me from the first page. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this book. All opinions are my own. Publication date is set for August 2019.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Coverdale

    What a fantastic and heart breaking book. So much so I read it in two sittings. Would highly recommend

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lorena

    Get your tissues ready for this emotionally packed novel about parents’ heartache and forgiveness.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Celia

    DNF- didn't enjoy feeling like I was in the middle of a couple argument for the whole third I read. DNF- didn't enjoy feeling like I was in the middle of a couple argument for the whole third I read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Heart warming story. Can’t wait to read the sequel “A Life Without Flowers”.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Kraft

    Painful but necessary This was a difficult book to read as a wife and mother. But, it also reminded me of necessary things I have forgotten. Most importantly to love those around me like I could lose them at any time , to forgive ourselves and those who we loved and hated and to live life without regrets. I needed that reminder now and I hope to keep those with me from now on.

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