Cool Water

Cool Water

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:

Juliet, Saskatchewan, is a blink-of-an-eye kind of town -- the welcome sign announces a population of 1,011 people -- and it's easy to imagine that nothing happens on its hot and dusty streets. Situated on the edge of the Little Snake sand hills, Juliet and its inhabitants are caught in limbo between a century -- old promise of prosperity and whatever lies ahead.

But the heart of the town beats in the rich and overlapping stories of its people: the foundling who now owns the farm his adoptive family left him; the pregnant teenager and her mother, planning a fairytale wedding; a shy couple, well beyond middle age, struggling with the recognition of their feelings for one another; a camel named Antoinette; and the ubiquitous wind and sand that forever shift the landscape. Their stories bring the prairie desert and the town of Juliet to vivid and enduring life.

This wonderfully entertaining, witty and deeply felt novel brims with forgiveness as its flawed people stumble towards the future.

Publisher: Toronto :, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd,, 2010
ISBN: 9781554685592
Branch Call Number: WAR
Characteristics: 327 pages ;,23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Each chapter is a gem; a short story that eventually links the whole community. A strong suggestion for a book club, lots of potential for discussion.

Jan 19, 2021

What a wonderful surprise to find this gem of a read! I thought it would be separate stories but each story is interconnected to the others to portray the town of Juliet,s people and area near Swift Current Saskatchewan. Although each character's personality, memories, jobs and activities are thoughtfully presented over a period of days. It is more than that, though, with thought provoking glimpses into how people think, what makes them tick, why they are who they are, as they are becoming who they could be and how all of them make the town, and area what it is, with it's own culture in this small part of the prairies of Canada. I would have given this 5 stars but the pages of the actual book are uneven. I will be looking for more books by this author.

Jul 21, 2017

This is probably not a book I would have chosen for myself (it was part of a reading challenge), but I enjoyed it. It's a bit like reading a soap opera. You meet a wide cast of characters and experience one day in their lives. Most of the plot points are simple everyday life things (dealing with financial woes, finding the owner of a lost horse, trying to freeze green beans, etc.) but the writing is good, the characters are well-developed and realistic, and a wide variety of different types of relationships are explored. This means that, for the first few chapters, you feel like you're reading a collection of short stories rather than a novel (and it takes a long time before you find out the point of the first chapter), but if you give it time everything falls into place.

Jun 16, 2017

Lovely book. When some of my favorite writers like Larry Watson and the late Ivan Doig wrote words of praise for it you know you won't go wrong. Highly recommend.

May 30, 2017

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! Set in one day and with multiple characters, the author did a fantastic job bringing each person to life. I enjoyed the rural setting and small-town feel.

Aug 20, 2014

Although this book claims to be a "novel" it is really a collection of vignettes set in the languishing [fictional] rural community of Juliet adjacent to the Sand Hills of southwestern Saskatchewan. A broad cast of characters provide the multiple threads tying together these vignettes.

Jan 20, 2013

As canadian as they come. I can read this book over and over again. Such a beautiful portrayal of rual life. Loved the characters and their essential niceness ( kindness).

martins_mom Oct 29, 2012

Another celebrated Canadian read (2010 Governer General's Award for Fiction) that I came to late. A wonderful evocation of fading rural life in Saskatchewan.

Aug 02, 2012

2010 GG. This is a book of ordinary lives in a small Saskatchewan town. Very good.

Jul 10, 2012

Excellent, measured writing. Shows us the characters instead of telling - always good! More of a collection of interlinked short stories than a novel.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Feb 29, 2012

redekops1 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Summary
tamcsa Jan 28, 2012

Cool Water is set in the small western Canadian community of Juliet, Saskatchewan. The novel brings to life several characters who are interconnected because they share the same small town. Her characters are real people. Warren understands how where we live reflects who we are. It is an unpretentious, understated book about the basic goodness of people. Cool Water is a novel about everyday life which includes disappointments, challenges and the joys we all encounter. I love when a book surprises me and Cool Water is one of those books.
Highly Recommended. AL.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PMPL

To Top