The Girl in the Water is the story of a multi-ethnic group of young friends, coming of age in Estonia and Ukraine in the last days of the Soviet Union. Their lives are shaped by an Afghan war, the Chernobyl disaster, and the collapse and legacy of a suffocating society.
This novel is a tragicomedy that examines life and choice in the aftermath of trauma and has garnered praise as both a lifelike family drama and as a literary statement in the tradition of the Russian classics.
An intricate study of beauty and futility in everyday life, a call for compassion and humour in a cruel world.
Winner of the 2023 Independent Press Award for Literary Fiction
Winner of the 2023 IPPY Awards Bronze Medal for Best Regional eBook (Fiction)
Finalist in the 2022 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards for Multicultural Fiction
Finalist in the 17th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards for New Fiction
“Joseph Howse evokes the literary styles of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky… The author has composed a book like Tchaikovsky would a symphony; tight, disciplined, yet bubbling with unspoken passion and near-magical allegory.”
– Rob Errera, IndieReader