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Dreaming Water
Dreaming Water
Author: Gail Tsukiyama
Bestselling author Gail Tsukiyama is known for her poignant, subtle insights into the most complicated of relationships. Dreaming Water is an exploration of two of the richest and most layered human connections that exist: mother and daughter and lifelong friends. — Hana is suffering from Werner's syndrome, a disease that makes a person a...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780312316082
ISBN-10: 0312316089
Publication Date: 5/1/2003
Pages: 240
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 51 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Ladyslott avatar reviewed Dreaming Water on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Gail Tsukiyama is one of my favorite authors. She writes small, elegant books that always manage to touch my heart and make me think about the beauty and meaning of life.

In Dreaming Water we meet Hana, a young woman dying of Werner's syndrome, a disease that causes a person to age at twice the normal rate. Hana lives with her mother Cate, a widow in her early sixties who looks as if she is Hana's child. Over the course of two days we learn about Cate and Hana's life, both present and past, and of their strength in dealing with an illness that changes everything.

Although the main subject of this book is Hana's illness we also come to learn about her parent's marriage, her mother the child of old world Italian immigrants and her father a Japanese American 'detained' at Heart Mountain, an internment camp where his family was sent for their 'safety' during WWII. We also learn of Hana's lifelong friendship with Laura whose own life is falling apart. She has come to visit Hana bringing her teenage daughters with her, to meet the Godmother they don't know.

While reading this book one is aware that there will be no happy ending. Despite the sadness that permeates the story there is also a spirituality to the book, in accepting one's fate and making a life that is the best that it can be. Overall is the story of a mother's love and devotion to her child, of facing immeasurable heartache with strength and determination.

Highly recommended.
reviewed Dreaming Water on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I couldn't put this book down while reading it and would find myself stuck in parking lots and lobbies, absorbed in this author's story. I highly recommend this one.
reviewed Dreaming Water on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I had read Women of the Silk and Language of the Threads, and really liked them, so I was anxious to read another of Tsukiyama's books. I liked this book, but it was different than her others. The characters are interesting, and the insight each of them give makes you think. I enjoyed it.
reviewed Dreaming Water on
Helpful Score: 1
Dreaming Water is an exploration of two of the richest and most layered human connections that exists: mother and daughter and lifelong friends.

Hana is suffering from Werner's Syndrome, a disease that makes a person age at twice the rate of a healthy individual: at 38, Hana has the appearance of an 80. Cate, her mother, is caring for her while struggling with her grief at losing her husband, Max, and with the knowledge that Hana's disease is getting worse by the day.

Hana and Cate's days are quiet and ordered. Cate escapes to her beloved garden and Hana reads and writes letters. Both are drawn into the past, remembering the joyous and challenging events that have shaped them; spending the days at Max's favorite beach, overcoming their neighbor's prejudices that Max was Japanese-American and Cate, Italian-American and coping with the heartbreak of discovering Hana's disease.

One of the great joys of Hana's life has been her relationship with her beautiful, successful best friend, Laura. Laura has moved to New York from their hometown in California and has two daughters, Josephine and Camille. She has not been home in years and begs Hana to let her bring her daughters to meet her, feeling that Josephine in particular, needs to have Hana in her life. Despite Hana's latest refusal, Laura decides to come anyway. When Laura's loud, energetic, and troubled work collides with Hana and Cate's daily routine, the store really begins.

This is about a mother's courage, a daughter's strength, and a friend's love. It is about the importance of human dignity and the importance of all the small moments that create a life worth living.
bellasgranny avatar reviewed Dreaming Water on + 468 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a new to me author, but one that I will add to my ever growing list of favorite authors. This is a beautifully written story about love, friendship and courage. Wonderfully written characters. Can't wait to pick up another book from this author.
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reviewed Dreaming Water on + 11 more book reviews
I read this some time ago (many years) but noticed it on the list and thought I would write a quick review. This is a fascinating book and story of a relationship, a disease/syndrome (not sure how to characterize it), and life. Wonderfully written, and heart full. Highly recommended. Each and every one of Tsukiyama's books are gems, I have read most of them, and they are memorable, evoking wonderful images and characters and relationships. Five stars out of five!
reviewed Dreaming Water on + 1436 more book reviews
This is my first book by this author and I loved it. The author's writing style helped me whiz through this wonderful story. A couple discovers that their only daughter has an unusual disease. Hana has Werner's syndrome which makes her age twice as fast as she should. She refers to it only as Werner.

I enjoy books that discuss real life experiences. There are many heart breaking scenes in the novel her parents cope with what life has given them. The author doesn't belittle the reactions of those who don't understand and ridicule young Hana. Inside the aging body is a young woman whose take on life can teach many of us how to live better. She is positive, outgoing and happy. Yes, she dislikes Werner but accepts what life has given her. Would that we all could look at life as Hana does. This is a gentle story that helps one realize that life is full of happiness and treasures that we should cherish.
reviewed Dreaming Water on
What a beautifully written story, enjoyed reading this book.