I'm so happy I read this. It's such a unique little book. I can't even describe the plot so instead I'm going to pull the blurb from somewhere else.
••Global warming has changed the world's geography and its politics. Wars are waged over water, and China rules Europe, including the Scandinavian Union, which is occupied by the power state of New Qian. In this far north place, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio is learning to become a tea master like her father, a position that holds great responsibility and great secrets. Tea masters alone know the location of hidden water sources, including the natural spring that Noria's father tends, which once provided water for her whole village.
But secrets do not stay hidden forever, and after her father's death the army starts watching their town-and Noria. And as water becomes even scarcer, Noria must choose between safety and striking out, between knowledge and kinship.
Imaginative and engaging, lyrical and poignant, Memory of Wateris an indelible novel that portrays a future that is all too possible••
I can't recall ever reading a book with this kind of synopsis, it's absolutely phenomenal. I was sad when I had to put the book down because all I could think about was needing to find out what happened next. I was hooked before I even realised it. It would've been a five star read but the beginning was a little slow, at first I wasn't sure if I was going to continue reading but by about 60 pages it really picked up.
I've never heard or read anything about the art of Tea and being a Tea Master so I loved how this book explored that culture. It was informative without being info dump-y, which is always a difficult balance to strike. It also had a magical realism feel in how Noria described the water and how it almost has a breath to it.
I don't feel like I got to know the characters a great deal, but I don't think that was the idea. The focus was more on the story than anything else and to an extent felt like a cautionary tale. That the way the planet is going currently we could face a similar situation to what is described in this book.
Please please give this a go. I know of only one other person that has read this and we both loved it!