Published on May 25th, 2016 | by Tory Favro
Watershed Book Review
Summary: Watershed is an edgy and original read!
Unsure what to think of this title when asked if I could review it, Watershed is the kind of book that slowly draws you into its harsh and uncompromising world. This is a world without the very lifeblood that preserves us all… water. A world where the mob will fight to hold onto this precious resource, where it is rationed out in order to keep the populace compliant.
Watershed allows us to follow two stories, written in the first and third person perspectives. The first is Jeremiah, otherwise known as Jem who kills for the Tower. The other is Sarah,and as their paths converge, morality comes into play as the reader is exposed to two very different sides of the one story. Both sides of this tale are compelling, for very different reasons and the flow from Jem’s perspective to Sarah’s work very well, with one measure of the passage of time being Sarah’s child Anna growing up as we begin the story.
Author Jane Abbott has skilfully brought across the sheer desperation it takes to survive this horrible world filled with disease and anger. I actually felt thirsty myself at times when reading just how moisture is scavenged from any resource that might contain it, and to just make it through a day compels people to do things they would never have imagined in a “normal” world. And some of these people do have memories of a world where it rained; though it has been so long that these are dull and in some cases long forgotten.
As worlds collide, Jem as a Watchman, comes into contact with Disses; dissidents who challenge the council in the Tower, those whom he is sworn to kill under the command of his leader Garrick, Jem has to make a decision that will affect everything he knows and believes. It is this decision that will take you the reader into the very heart of darkness Abbott has created and been good enough to take us along for the ride.
Watershed has a very Australian feel to it that readers, despite the alien surrounds of this new world, will be able to identify with. Any single person who has ever seen the outback of Central Australia should be able to imagine the horrific dry world Jem and Sarah live in, surrounded by famine, disease, oppression and undrinkable ocean. This is a very well crafted tale that will take you along it’s path to the very well conceived finale. A fantastic read.
Watershed is Abbott’s debut novel with her Elegy following in September and both are published by Random House.