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love and only water

love and only water book cover

'This book is a delight, and heartbreaking . . . reminds us that it's important to love our family, our roots, who we are becoming, and what it means to look forward'
Double The Books Magazine

'I read this book in a matter of days . . . it is a thought-provoking, sometimes disturbing, quick read and a beautifully written story'
Soulla Christodoulou, author of The Summer Will Come

Can you be whole when your world is in halves?

In the midst of an identity crisis, twenty-one-year-old Daniela retraces her roots to Cyprus. As whispers resound through her grandparents' home, she senses their anguish at Turkey's invasion of The North, still as raw as it was almost fifty years ago. Then her aunt invites her across the border for a picnic.

Beyond the buffer zone she runs into Beyza, who was her girlfriend five years ago when they both lived in London and were from 'the east'. Here and now, with Daniela in The South and Beyza in The North everything is different.

Faith conflict. Perceptions collide. The divided island unravels alongside a war-fractured family. Daniela's is a story of living with uncertainty, and of forging an identity as both yet neither.


 

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The Love and Only Water Playlist is now on Spotify

Book Club Questions


1) At the beginning of the book, Daniela reveals that she doesn’t know who she is or what she wants, citing her bisexuality, her biracial background, and her youth. Which of these things, if any, do you think is the most prominent factor in her uncertainty?


2) What is the significance of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey – countries central to the book’s setting – remaining unnamed?


3) In an apartment block built by Daniela’s great grandfather, she and several family members live – quite literally – on top of one another. How does this impact their interactions?


4) Daniela is the daughter of an American mother and a Cypriot father, and seems to feel that the people around her are products of their respective places. How do you think her relationships affect her feelings towards different countries, or vice versa?


5)As a British-born Cypriot, Daniela exists both inside and outside of life in Cyprus. How unique a perspective does this give her, and does it make her observations more or less credible?


6) Which aspects of her Cypriot heritage does Daniela most value and why?


7) In the troubled years before ‘the conflict’ of 1974, Eliza’s mother, Katerina, was one of over two-thousand Cypriots to go missing. How do you think this has shaped her character, and the dynamics in the wider family?


8)Daniela’s parents and grandparents are mortified by her aunt’s choice to become a Jehovah’s Witness. Do you think they have any right to press their opinions on Maria, whilst concealing her faith from others?


9)Daniela feels conflicted about the conservative views of her aunt’s church. Despite this, do you think she learns valuable lessons from attending a meeting?


10) In ‘The Buffer Zone’, Daniela dates both Paris and Beyza. How do they differ as romantic partners, and what do their characters bring out in Daniela’s?


11) As time goes on, Daniela realises she has been prejudiced against The North and that people are the same on both sides of the border. Do you think she would have come to this conclusion if she hadn’t connected with someone from The Other Side, or was this connection vital?


12) Daniela expresses some discomfort with her privilege, particularly in relation to her great aunt’s live-in carers from Sri Lanka and the Philippines. How do you think this discomfort shapes her views and decisions as they evolve?


13) If Daniela and Beyza had stayed in Cyprus past the end of the book, do you think they would have been able to make their relationship work long-term?


14) Where do you think Daniela is now?

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