The Covenant of Water

By Abraham Verghese
Narrated by Abraham Verghese
January 2024 Group Selection



Motivation to Move: 3.5 Sneakers
Quality of Narration: 3 Sneakers
Overall Experience: 4 Sneakers
Total moving and listening time: 30 hours 16 minutes (21 hours at 1.5 speed)

Reflective Ripples: A Covenant of Water

At its core, “The Covenant of Water” is a testament to the profound interconnectedness of all things.

An epic tale of three generations of Indian families plagued by drowning and medical mysteries spans seven decades. Verghese skillfully weaves together threads of spirituality, science, and philosophy, offering readers a tapestry of insights into the sacred bond between humanity and the elements. Through vivid prose and poignant storytelling, he leads us on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening.

While Verghese’s prose is undeniably beautiful, some listeners may sometimes find the book’s philosophical musings dense. The depth of insight offered in “The Covenant of Water” requires careful consideration and reflection, making it best suited for listeners willing to engage deeply with its themes and commit to over 30 hours of listening and moving. For this reason, several members felt the novel might be best enjoyed in the written form. Even at a speed of 1.5, the audiobook is a lengthy 21-hour experience.

In relation to Verghese’s work as the narrator in The Covenant of Water, there were mixed reviews from our members. While some appreciated the author’s contribution to the novel’s narrative voice, others had negative remarks about his inexperienced voice-acting skills when portraying different characters.

If you enjoy stories with medical and scientific elements woven into the plot, the fact that Verghese is trained as a physician may be an enjoyable aspect. However, some listeners may find the technical details off-putting.

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