Not a Drop to Drink
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.
I wasn’t quite sure what I expected going in to this book but it blew me away with the way the story and characters got into my head and heart. I read this book in a couple of days, and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it.
Initially, the book reminded me of The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Blood Red Road by Moira Young (the beginning, at least). These books take place in what seems to be a bleak, possibly futuristic landscape, and the goal is just to survive one day to the next in a world where the weather and the elements are as dangerous as the few other humans encountered throughout the story.
The beginning of the book, with Lynn and her mother, showed me just what kind of life the lead. Lynn’s mother was the type to shoot without asking questions, doing whatever she needed to do in order to protect their water and their home. Lynn was tough but there was no other way to be. In many ways though, she was also naive, which was an interesting combination. I liked her right away but felt for her because she lived a difficult life, one that didn’t include music or friends or security like we have. I kept trying to put myself in her shoes and really imagine what that life would be like.
As the story progressed and other characters made their way into Lynn’s life, I was riveted because I loved seeing her open her heart to others after so much time spent with no one around but her mother. The story was unpredictable and exciting. I didn’t know what would happen or where the story would go, and I didn’t want to put the book down. It pulled me into its world, and there were times where I felt so tense while reading that I almost couldn’t take it!
The end of the book surprised me and broke my heart, but left me feeling hopeful at the same time. I wish I’d read this sooner because it’s amazing and I’d heard nothing but good things about it from other bloggers.
I know that there’s a companion novel coming out this year (In a Handful of Dust) and I can’t wait to read it. I highly highly highly recommend this book!