The Water Keeper – A Review
Steph Nickel shares her review of “The Water Keeper,” by Charles Martin. She says it is challenging and like no other book she has read.
The Water Keeper by Charles Martin
I was introduced to author Charles Martin on the That Sounds Fun podcast with Annie F Downs. Although they were discussing his newest nonfiction book, What if It’s True? A Storyteller’s Journey with Jesus, they touched on his most recent novel, The Water Keeper.
I downloaded the audiobook. And wow! It’s like no other book I’ve ever read.
It’s an eye-opening account of 21st century sex trafficking. It’s definitely not a lighthearted, happily ever after read, but it is well worth your time.
This is the blurb on Amazon:
A riveting new story of heroism, heartache, and the power of love to heal all wounds.
Murphy Shepherd is a man with many secrets. He lives alone on an island, tending the grounds of a church with no parishioners, and he’s dedicated his life to rescuing those in peril. But as he mourns the loss of his mentor and friend, Murph himself may be more lost than he realizes.
When he pulls a beautiful woman named Summer out of Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, Murph’s mission to lay his mentor to rest at the end of the world takes a dangerous turn. Drawn to Summer, and desperate to find her missing daughter, Murph is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark and dangerous world of modern-day slavery.
With help from some unexpected new friends, including a faithful Labrador he plucks from the ocean and an ex-convict named Clay, Murph must race against the clock to locate the girl before he is consumed by the secrets of his past—and the ghosts who tried to bury them.
With Charles Martin’s trademark lyricism and poignant prose, The Water Keeper is at once a tender love story and a heartrending search for freedom.
Below are the three reviews included in the blurb:
“I’m telling you, it’s an action-packed, classic Charles Martin romance novel unlike anything I’ve ever read. And remember . . . the day you pick up this book is the day you become temporarily unavailable to the world.” —Charlie Martin, son of Charles Martin
“Charles Martin fans rejoice, because he’s done it again . . . a multilayered story woven together with grace and redemption, and packed tight with tension and achingly real characters.” —Lauren Denton, USA TODAY bestselling author of The Hideaway
“In The Water Keeper Charles Martin crafts a compelling story with skill and sensitivity. Open the pages of this book and you’ll enter the world of characters caught up in a real-life drama that grips the heart. As with all of Charles’s books you never finish it—you continue to live there in your own imagination. Current fans won’t be disappointed; new readers will understand why Charles Martin is on the short list of contemporary authors I recommend above all others.” —Robert Whitlow, bestselling author
Typically, I’m not a fan of lengthy descriptions, but the author seamlessly weaves in details about various models of boats and boating as well as coastal Florida geography and communities.
The Author’s Voice and Writing Style
The author’s voice, his writing style, is different than any other author I’ve read. And because this is the first book in the series, I may read the others when they become available.
There are repeated references to the fact that the One is more valuable than the Ninety-Nine. This motivates the protagonist to risk his life time and time again.
The main character, the protagonist, is a hero—to some, a saviour—but he is flawed, conflicted, tortured. He’s very human.
Challenged to Make Changes
While I read fiction primarily for entertainment, I am often challenged and inspired to make changes in my life. The Water Keeper has the potential to transform the life of the reader.
Will I open my heart and set aside the judgment most of us are prone to?
Will I pray for the victims of 21st century sex trafficking?
Will I pray for those who seek to rescue them?
Will I look for opportunities to lead others to freedom—even if it’s inconvenient and heartbreaking? Even if it requires self-sacrifice?
The Questions Readers Ask
Those are the kind of questions readers of Charles Martin’s The Water Keeper may find themselves asking.
I’m sure you can see how this book could be transformative, life-changing.
If you want an entertaining read that makes you feel good, one you can set aside on your shelf after you’ve finished reading, one that doesn’t challenge you to re-evaluate your perceptions … this is not that book.
If you want a compelling read, one filled with action and grit, one God may use to redirect your life … you may want to pick up The Water Keeper.
Steph Beth Nickel is eclectically interested and eclectically involved. In all she does, Steph seeks to nurture and inspire. She is currently working on the first book in a nonfiction series. Nurture and Inspire LOVE is a compilation of the first devotionals she wrote for HopeStreamRadio.
Steph is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books. Deb and Steph are working on a follow-up book.
You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
Visit Steph’s contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.