The Season of Open Water
Winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction
From the critically acclaimed author of Moon Tide comes a mesmerizing novel of love and violence, family and betrayal. The Season of Open Water is the passionate, searing story of a young woman coming of age in a New England seacoast town that is swept up in the dangerous trade of rum-running.
It is October 1927. Bridge Weld is nineteen, headstrong and beautiful, working in her grandfather Noel’s boatbuilding shop. When Noel is approached by a local bootlegger to refit a boat for smuggling, he feels in his gut that he should not accept the work, yet he takes the job for the money it offers and for the chance it gives him to build a future for his beloved granddaughter, Bridge, and her brother, Luce. What Noel doesn’t count on is that Luce will be lured into the rum work himself and will try to pull Bridge into it with him.
But Bridge has embarked on a different course. Caught up in a passion for Henry, a veteran of World War I, Bridge is propelled beyond the confines of her known world, and ultimately she must choose between the man who loves her and the brother to whom she has been loyal all her life. As Bridge strikes out on her own, Luce’s fierce attachment spirals out of control.
Exquisitely written, haunting in its rendering of place, The Season of Open Water is a superb novel about a family and the lawlessness of the heart, a love story that explores the often inescapable connections between violence and desire.
Praise & Reviews
“Exquisite in every way.” —Orlando Sentinel
“Lyrical . . . gripping . . . We are reminded that the American Dream is as double-branched as the Westport River.” —The Boston Globe
“An absolutely wonderful story. Dawn Clifton Tripp has created a place that is as memorable to me as Charles Frazier’s Smoky Mountains or Norman Maclean’s Montana, and filled it with characters as lifelike as any I’ve encountered in contemporary American fiction.” —Howard Frank Mosher, author of Disappearances and Where the Rivers Flow North
“Tripp writes vivid, precise, intense prose that opens a window on a particular place and time, a family and love story, with complex views that promise to delight and move us. In The Season of Open Water she delivers on that promise, and keeps surprising us with more.” —Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek
“The story of a woman caught between the brother who completes her and the man she loves, The Season of Open Water is a stunning, taut, richly textured novel. Tripp possesses a genius for the telling detail, and her characters are so intimately drawn that we can almost see their breath rise up off the page.” —Alison Smith, author of Name All the Animals