Waterland | Graham Swift
One summer morning in 1943, lock-keeper Henry Crick finds the drowned body of a sixteen-year-old boy. Nearly forty years later, his son Tom, a history teacher, is driven by a bizarre marital crisis and the provocation of one of his students to forsake the formal teaching of history-and tell stories . .
. Waterland is a classic of modern fiction: a vision of England seen through its mysterious, amphibious Fen country; a sinuous meditation on the workings of time; a tale of two families, startling in its twists and turns and universal in its reach. Compulsively readable, it is a novel of resonant depth and encyclopaedic richness, mixing human and natural history and exploring the tragic forces that take us both forwards and back.
It is also a book about beer, eels, the French Revolution, the end of the world, windmills, will-o'-the-wisps, murder, love, education, curiosity and-supremely-the malign and merciful element of water.