The Covenant of Water

Written by:
Abraham Verghese
Narrated by:
Abraham Verghese

Unabridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
468
Narrator
162
Release Date
May 2023
Duration
31 hours 16 minutes
Summary
From the New York Times–bestselling author of Cutting for Stone comes a stunning and magisterial epic of love, faith, and medicine, set in Kerala, South India, following three generations of a family seeking the answers to a strange secret

The Covenant of Water is the long-awaited new novel by Abraham Verghese, the author of the major word-of-mouth bestseller Cutting for Stone, which has sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years.

Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning—and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a
twelve-year-old girl from Kerala’s Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl—and future matriarch, Big Ammachi—will witness unthinkable
changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants.

A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to humanunderstanding, and a humbling testament to the hardships undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. Imbued with
humor, deep emotion, and the essence of life, it is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years.
Reviews
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Cal C.

very happy I listened to this book vs. read it. The Author/Narrator made me feel deep inside India. It was great company on walks and long drives.

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Anonymous

I am a big fan, and have read the fiction and non-fiction he has written. He looks closely at families, and how they are formed traditionally or not. He makes humans love for one another understandable.

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Lupine B.

Loved loved loved. His Glasgow accent was a little off but I still enjoyed the authors reading it so much. Filled with humour, joy and sorrows.

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Anonymous

Narration by the author was a gift. What a beautifully written & evocative treasure chest of interwoven lives! A family saga rich with characters that are complex in their stalwart love, & sometimes overwhelming struggles and flaws. Verghese takes the reader on an epic journey through the food, faith and complexities of India. Thoroughly enjoyable!

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Anonymous

Listening to the author narrate the book felt like an invitation to dive deeper into the story than if I had read it. Wonderful.

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Ronni D.

I hesitated to listen to a book that was 31 hrs. long but after reading the reviews I took a chance and so happy I did! I hesitated to listen to a book that was 31 hrs long, thinking it would be too drawn out and tedious in many parts. But after reading the reviews I decided to take a chance and so happy I did. Such a beautiful story of family love and sacrifice I didn't want it to end. And I loved the narrator's voice, he was perfect!

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Charlie M.

Fantastic surprising human story.

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Kathy K.

How I loved this book and so appreciate and admire this writer. He always weaves a story both interesting and full of wisdom.

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Jennifer R.

Brilliant writing! Absolutely loved listening to the author narration.

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Eva E.

Verghese is brilliant. He weaves a story with such refinement. The breath of humanity, love, and humor in this book is amazing. He is tops.

Absolutely one of the worlds best books!!!

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Anonymous

Good story ,good narrator

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Anonymous

Nice

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Anonymous

nice

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Elizabeth C.

I loved his voice. I think that having the author read this incredible family saga that he wrote gives the book an insight into the characters mind set. And oh what a powerful story!

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Gudlaug

Bitter-sweet but worth every minute of the 31 hours with Mr Verghese's narrative as a great add on.

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Lisa L.

Great listen, spectacular narrator!

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Anonymous

A long look at many generations in Kerala, South Indian plus many detailed activities of the social and Hindu traditions The love and survival of family. The medical family side was very interesting and perfect for that fabulous author who wrote Cutting for Stone which I loved as I love this one too. It’s a great read.

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Alexina K.

This was a brilliant story. It would make a superb miniseries! The author and narrator was a pleasure to listen to.

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Anonymous

Hard to follow; lost interest

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Anonymous

Amazing book. Life changing. Thank you

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Nancy P.

I was reluctant to start this book because I of its length, but I am so glad I did. It is a book that will stay with me. The stay and the characters were so engaging. I would be laughing out loud one minute and then crying the next. And I don’t cry. I can’t wait to talk to others who have read this lovely book.

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TOBY L.

This is the second book I read of Verghese. Cutting Stone was so much easier to follow. This one I felt was too long and at times confusing regarding the numerous characters. His style is so descriptive that you can picture a character down to his nose hairs! I’m still trying to finish listening to it but 32 hours is a lot to take in. He is an excellent writer but at times verbose.

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Talita A.

One of the best I’ve read. So worth it. It’s so touching and so amazing, so well written. All superlative! Fully recommended! You will not regret the 31 hours

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Adanna A.

Great book - what a twist…

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Anonymous

I read the book. Liked it so much that I am now listening to the audiobook which is even better! A beautiful writer who narrates his own book with such feeling and sensitivity.

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Carol M.

Loved this family saga and the interweaving of the character and plot lines.

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Amanda P.

Loved this book.

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Melissa R.

The story telling was marvelous and I loved how all the loose ends tied together. A few too many details for me.

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John B.

Great book

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Tash U.

A beautifully crafted book. The story transports the reader (listener) to different time and place, but the humanity is universal. One of the most beautiful books I have ever encountered, and I will listen to it again and again. This is a must read (listen) for lovers of Gabriel Márquez, the same almost magical quality given to ordinary things, is interwoven with an all too realistic depiction of human suffering. I feel braver, somehow, after listening to this book, and recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone looking for a life-changing listen.

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Anonymous

Amazing,epic book. The characters in the book feel like family,even though I don't know a lot about living in India. It's amazing how the author really draws you in. ..... The authors voice is very soothing. I would listen on my commute to work in the morning. The only problem is when I got to work I didn't want to stop listening. lol.

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Susan M.

Oprah does it again! This one takes commitment but, unlike your ex, it will not disappoint!

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Robert L Johnson MD

Best book of 2023

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Smileykat

It was a good book but sad and long to the point that I switched to another book for a bit then came back to it. That may be on part due to the narrator sounding sad a lot in how he The jumping and forth could get confusing.

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Anonymous

This book was amazing

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Jinx M.

Sometimes a truly good book will get into your brain and release deep emotions. The Covenant of Water is a brilliant book, but it played havoc with my emotions! I felt deep sadness, sympathy, and depression in reading about the dreaded, incurable leprosy in India at that time. The author is an extremely compassionate man..

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Leah M.

Brilliant! The narrator elevates the telling of an incredible story, and the ending takes the work up to another level .

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Leanne Q.

Brilliant book!

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Patty I

I love this author. Listening to his voice in his native speech made this book just that much better. Wonderful story. I love a king listen

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Janet S.

Gripping story that weaves together family, medicine, history, and religion…with strong characters.

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Marta C.

I love the story of multiple generations with the variations in acceptable social norms and family dynamics. The Covenant of Water was enlightening, engrossing and creative.

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Anonymous

Beautiful family saga, great descriptions, love the characters. Felt a bit rushed at the end, but overall a great listen!

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Anonymous

Loved this book so much. Still thinking about it.

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Kari G.

It was a fantastic jouney travelling through this book! Full range of emotions, and Verghese has knowledge in many fields. The author's narrating completed it- I would not have been able to experience it that vividely if I were to read it alone by myself, I think. However, like quite a few books I have listened to/ read recently, the last tenth (approxemately) of the book could have been edited more strictly.

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Evelyn

A beautiful book, sorry it had to end. Would highly recommend it.

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Geriello

Written and narrated by author. This was a long story. Given that… I enjoyed the whole story and looked forward to every twist in turn of the families and friends involved. The clear medical perspective was fine for me, a nurse , but my friend found that a little difficult to follow…loved it just the same. I have read both of vergesse books and he is a remarkable writer and story teller.

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KimP

Dr Verghese does not disappoint. Another amazing book. Couldn’t stop listening. wonderful story

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Valerie P.

Absolutely beautiful! Written and read with such tenderness and compassion. He reveals the beauty and struggle each human faces as they grow from generation to generation.

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Lorry S.

Thoroughly enjoyed. Moved on to his first book, Which I’m enjoying now. I sincerely hope there will be more to come.

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Julie M

This book was brilliant! It was an added bonus to have it narrated by the author. It made it more authentic. Must read/listen to.

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Christina F.

Poetic, profound, funny, enthralling, and what a treat to listen to Abraham Verghese read it himself.

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Namarran

An enchanting read. A story over time. Characters are all so well sculpted. And the narration by the writer is mesmerising. I can’t wait to read more of Abrahams books.

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Anonymous

This story is on my personal best 10 books in my lifetime. Once immersed in the narration it was hard to come back out of the story to tend to my own life. It was like I became a character in the book , living and experiencing their lives!

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Jane H.

By the end I really wanted to stop as it seemed to drone on and on. I kept thinking… please wrap this up.

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Linda S.

Wonderful book, actually quite special. Listening to the author enhanced my enjoyment of the book.

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Juanita B.

Best book I’ve ever read!!! Made me laugh, hold my breath, cry and transported me to another world. Beautifully read by author which added to the authenticity of the story . A must read!!!!!

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Anonymous

Amazing book and so well read by the author. I also learned so much about the history of India, and how they were living throughout the generations. the book kept me interested in reading whenever I had a few minutes. Well done

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Elise N.

An epic story of three generations around the south east of India. I came to love many of the characters and the stories are well interwoven. The author reads the book which is mostly nice save for the women characters who all sound pleading and weak. While it did bother me, I was enjoying the book. However, as the book is over 30 hours, I came to really dislike the tone of all the women…that’s unfortunate. The end is also based on one big coincidence which I found a bit hard to believe.

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Naomi Hudson

Very good book. Some parts were incredibly stressful to listen to and my heart broke many times. I loved learning of life in India from an Indian perspective, Very well written.

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Evelyn L.

A terrific book. I enjoyed the references to surgery and the details about the medical condition.

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Patty L.

Epic book, I loved it from the first to the last page, the characters. Will be in my heart forever.

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Anonymous

A beautifully story filled. I fell in love with the characters and their journey through life. I would have missed out on this beautiful book, for I would not have read it because of its size. Hearing it read by the author gave book more life to me.

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Wisdom F.

looks good

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Athenaa>test{{3*3}} V.

really good book. loved it. must read

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