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Publisher's Summary

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born "with one foot on the other side". Unsettling, heart-wrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.

Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency.

A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves - now protective, now hedonistic - move into control, Ada's life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction.

©2018 Akwaeke Emezi (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Different personalities = Different Characters

What caught my eye is that this book is told by Adas personalities. Ada goes through a life of getting to know why she's different with her different personalities she grows to love them and embrace them all the while fighting and never belonging or fitting in. Mental health is real and is much more than individuals.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Overall !

I loved the authors convey of the story and her tone and I actually felt her pain and emotions while dealing with them inside of her. I would love to meet her in person!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Powerful. Real. Sensual.

Intimate, real. Not overburdened thankfully by story telling conventions. Poetic. Instances of rare so rare beauty. Provokes a tenderness and then too a thoughtfulness that makes that tenderness aware that it has little right to express itself and might very well cause pain. The challenges of a self becoming an active entity and the bizarre experience of love. Much here.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Book; Good Narrator

Really enjoyed the story. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the narration. Sometimes the very flat, calm, matter-of-fact style was the perfect dictation to a confusing, otherworldly story, sometimes I felt it detracted from the narrative power of the words by not adding a more powerful aural component. Overall, very very good.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fresh is the water and the words

Akwaeke offers fresh story framing, fresh prose, fresh concepts of duality. I swallowed this book. I needed this book. This book made me see parts of my hidden self. I can hardly write a review because I’m still digesting this book and reflecting on the inner turmoil, inner conversations that we experience without ever fully understanding the language. Beautifully written.

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Extraordinary

Particularly wonderful to listen to the author herself - hypnotic prose from an extraordinary writer.