Properties of Thirst (Large Print / Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This might be my favorite book of the Fall and one that’s hard to blurb in short! Properties of Thirst is a sweeping, lyrical and epic saga of the Rhodes family, the land they love and the lengths they will go to protect it. Wiggins is a masterful storyteller capable of transporting the reader to the lush landscape in which the story is set, Lone Pine, CA at the base of Mt Whitney and the location for the filming of many Hollywood films in the 1930s and 40s and the site of the Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp. What’s more, her characters, Rocky, Cas, Sunny and Schiff are rich, complex people with whom I would LOVE to spend time. This is the beautiful, all absorbing tale of family, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and Los Angeles’ pilfering of the Owen’s Valley water during the establishment of Manzanar. It’s an American tale about family, love, land and what we should fight to hold onto. All of it stayed with me long after I finished the last page. May be one of my favorite books of all time!

— Linda

August 2022 Indie Next List

“Words don’t do this book justice. A family tale, a moral novel of a shameful time in our history, and a love story built with care and humor. You won’t want to leave the Rhodes family when the novel ends. Grab this and fall under its spell.”
— Anne Whalen, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI


Fifteen years after the publication of Evidence of Things Unseen, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Marianne Wiggins returns with a novel destined to be an American classic: a sweeping masterwork set during World War II about the meaning of family and the limitations of the American Dream.

Rockwell Rocky Rhodes has spent years fiercely protecting his California ranch from the LA Water Corporation. It is here where he and his beloved wife, Lou, raised their twins, Sunny and Stryker, and it is here where Rocky has mourned Lou in the years since her death.

As Sunny and Stryker reach the cusp of adulthood, the country teeters on the brink of war. Stryker decides to join the fight, deploying to Pearl Harbor not long before the bombs strike. Soon, Rocky and his family find themselves facing yet another incomprehensible tragedy.

Rocky is determined to protect his remaining family and the land where they've loved and lost so much. But when the government decides to build a Japanese-American internment camp next to the ranch, Rocky realizes that the land faces even bigger threats than the LA watermen he's battled for years. Complicating matters is the fact that the idealistic Department of the Interior man assigned to build the camp, who only begins to understand the horror of his task after it may be too late, becomes infatuated with Sunny and entangled with the Rhodes family.

Properties of Thirst is a novel that is both universal and intimate. It is the story of a changing American landscape and an examination of one of the darkest periods in this country's past, told through the stories of the individual loves and losses that weave together to form the fabric of our shared history. Ultimately, it is an unflinching distillation of our nation's essence--and a celebration of the bonds of love and family that persist against all odds.

Product Details
ISBN: 9798212030908
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2022
Language: English