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Publisher's Summary

This is not your mother's memoir. In The Chronology of Water, Lidia Yuknavitch expertly moves the listener through issues of gender, sexuality, violence, and the family from the point of view of a lifelong swimmer turned artist. In writing that explores the nature of memoir itself, her story traces the effect of extreme grief on a young woman's developing sexuality that some define as untraditional because of her attraction to both men and women. Her emergence as a writer evolves at the same time and takes the narrator on a journey of addiction, self-destruction, and ultimately survival that finally comes in the shape of love and motherhood.

©2010 Lidia Yuknavitch (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This isn't a memoir 'about' addiction, abuse, or love: it's a triumphantly unrelenting look at a life buoyed by the power of the written word." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    43
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    12
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    5
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    2

Performance

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    37
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    9
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    3
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    4
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    48
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bad choice of narrator

The book is fantastic but the narrator’s delivery is forced and distracts from the story. Nails on a chalkboard.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Vicious, Moving, and Artful

What did you love best about The Chronology of Water?

Yuknavitch writes gorgeous sentences. I often found myself rewinding just to listen to the way she makes "a sentence hum" to paraphrase her own description of her writing.

What did you like best about this story?

Her life is shocking and sometimes difficult to stomach, but her nonlinear account of these events makes the narrative easier to read.

What three words best describe Christina Delaine’s performance?

Though there is no doubt in my mind that Delaine is a talented performer, her reading of this book sometimes overshadowed the writing. Her vocal patterns are artistic, certainly, but can be repetitive or overly theatrical. She has the tendency to go from very quiet to ear-piercingly loud, so I often had to keep my hand on the volume control.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Halfway through the book, I started to become disenchanted with the constant rage and self-destruction she depicts and re-enacts through language. Then there was a turning point near the end that put the rest in perspective.

Any additional comments?

Though this was an incredible book, I almost wish I had read it traditionally rather than listening to an audiobook. It's not that Delaine's performance ruined the book, rather I would have liked to take the book at my own pace with more neutral inflections.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The narrator is beyond annoying to listen to

The narrator is beyond annoying to listen to and doesn't seem to fit the tone of the book well

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator is very obnoxious

I have a lot of respect for the author and I think I would've really enjoyed the book if I had read it. However, the narrator overacts the story so frequently and created a relationship of annoyance between me and the story. She impersonates accents, elongates and accentuates words excessively and overall makes the story really hard to listen to and pretentious sounding . Do yourself a favor and read this story instead of listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not Your Grandma's Memoir

Listen, if you're going to get offended or judge or cringe about sex and cursing, this is probably not for you. If you're still seeking and hoping and know that your story is still being written, read on.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

a gift of shared thoughts and experiences. profoundly vulnerable and uncut and very well sculpted

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Screeching voice--Superb Story

What did you like best about The Chronology of Water? What did you like least?

This story is captivating, and the writing is lyrical and beautiful. Yuknavitch is an imaginative and inventive writer who masterfully manipulates structure and voice to tell a story like no other.

What didn’t you like about Christina Delaine’s performance?

I really love this book, but Delaine's voice was so screeching and loud at times that it actually took away from the story. Had she read the sentences more simply and evenly--and allowed the story to come through rather than injecting inflection into each and every word, it would have been a far better listening experience. Unfortunately, her yelling was so jarring at times that I found myself driving with one finger on the volume in the event I'd have to turn it down.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Book, Poor Narration

Is there anything you would change about this book?

the narrator

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Chronology of Water?

the scene when she confronts her father was riveting.

What didn’t you like about Christina Delaine’s performance?

She was overly dramatic. As another reviewer noted, you need to constantly keep your hand on the volume control, because she goes from quiet to yelling often.

Did The Chronology of Water inspire you to do anything?

Many things, but I swam competitively too and it reignited my love of water.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best Memoir EVER!!

I've already read it twice and just wanted to experience it again so I got the audiobook. Such a heartbreaking and also amazing story and the most unique memoir I've ever read. Lidia write like no one else. Every sentence is a work of art. I truly couldn't recommend The Chronology of Water more. Read it!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Cushing

I listened to this in two days. It gripped me. Hard. Recommend it x a million.