Jeni McFarland - THE HOUSE OF DEEP WATER Virtual Event!

Friday, April 24, 2020 - 7:00pm
Instagram Live |
Houston, TX 77006

Join us for a virtual event with Jeni McFarland for her new novel THE HOUSE OF DEEP WATER on Friday, April 24 at 7pm CST. Jeni will be in conversation with Andy Johnson, author of THE THROUGH. Join us via the Brazos Bookstore Instagram LIVE! ig: @brazosbookstore.

THE HOUSE OF DEEP WATER is that rarest of finds—a book that deftly probes urgent societal and moral issues virtually ripped from today’s headlines while delivering a timeless story about good intentions gone awry. Stunningly current and painstakingly honest, this is a searing tale that cuts straight to the heart of the human experience and its inherent messiness. Mining debut novelist Jeni McFarland’s own painful past, it depicts the big-hearted orneriness of family life, the deep cuts of ingrained prejudices, and our universal search for wholeness and personal healing.

It also introduces McFarland’s beautifully rendered characters, particularly three unforgettable women who couldn’t wait to escape their small hometown and fled for the promise of something—anything—different. Now each of them has returned to provincial River Bend, Michigan, to slam the door on a difficult past. Not one of them expected to find a new beginning in this most unlikely place: Home.

Strong-willed Beth Dewitt, the biracial mother of two teens, is one of River Bend’s only black daughters. Divorced and jobless after losing her chef’s position back in North Carolina, Beth hopes to stay with her white father, Ernest DeWitt, long enough to get her life back on track. But devastating childhood trauma, a married ex-lover, and her long-simmering rage don’t make it easy for Beth to stay on the rails. At about the same time, thirty-two-year-old Linda Williams (who Beth baby-sat as a teen) has left a bad marriage in Texas to regroup at her grandmother’s River Bend farm. In short order, Linda is pregnant and living with Beth’s father, a flawed but gentle man three decades her senior. And now Linda’s mother, Paula Williams—who abandoned Linda and her younger sisters years earlier—has arrived in town, finally ready to divorce her estranged husband and head back to Utah and her devoted new fiancé.

But life never seems to go exactly as planned. With complex connections among the trio, emotions run high and tempers flare in River Bend, further fueled by an appalling local scandal, long-held grudges, and the re-opening of old wounds. With tender revelations and unexpected plot twists, THE HOUSE OF DEEP WATER moves seamlessly from laugh-out-loud moments to heartbreaking insights, taking aim at insidious issues of class and race that create an enormous divide between who is and who isn’t allowed to thrive in society.

Jeni McFarland’s brilliant and edgy take on these modern relationships reveal the heart and imagination of her pivotal characters as they navigate a world of male expectation, racist and misogynist micro-aggressions, and much more. In the process, McFarland deftly slips in and out of the many distinct voices of River Bend, revealing the universal heart beating within small towns like this one. The result is a perceptive and moving look at the love, frustration, and scars of shared living that bond folks to one another.

Jeni McFarland holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston, where she was a fiction editor at Gulf Coast Magazine. She’s an alum of Tin House, a 2016 Kimbilio Fellow, and has had short fiction published in Crack the Spine, Forge, and Spry, which nominated her for the storySouth Million Writers Award. She was also a finalist for the 2015 Gertrude Stein Writers Award in Fiction from the Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. She has lived in Michigan and the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two cats. The House of Deep Water is her first book.

The House of Deep Water By Jeni McFarland Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525542353
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 21st, 2020