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Stealing Water

Stealing Water

Tim Ecott’s family swapped Northern Ireland for apartheid Johannesburg in the 1970s. But just six months after arriving the family was bankrupt and evicted from their home, and most of their possessions had been confiscated by the bailiffs. Whilst friends and relatives imagined they were living enviable lives in the sun, the reality was that the family was cast adrift. Forced to survive on their wits, they entered a twilight world where their true friends were prostitutes, thieves and renegades. At the heart of STEALING WATER is Tim’s mother, who rises magnificently to the occasion keeping the family afloat with her shop, The Whatnot. Situated in an arcade running underneath the streets of Johannesburg it’s the perfect place to keep below the radar of the police.
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Reviews

A truthful story brilliantly told - both funny and moving. I often had to lay the book aside to recover from laughter . . . Tim Ecott cleverly captures the feeling of an extraordinary life
Lynne Reid Banks
The greatest memoir to come out of white Africa since Rian Malan's My Traitor's Heart - it reads like Angela's Ashes rewritten by Nick Hornby under a baking Johannesburg sun . . . told with warmth, humanity and humour to burn
Tony Parsons
Funny, never self-pitying and a pleasure to read
<i>Guardian</i>
An extraordinary account of childhood in a baroque South Africa. Unputdownable - never sentimental, extremely honest and with a positively Dickensian cast of characters
Emma Thompson
Excellent
<i>Metro</i>
Tim Ecott's story of growing up in Ireland and Africa is both haunting and funny. He writes with compassion and honesty to give us a truly memorable account of an extraordinary upbringing
Fergal Keane
STEALING WATER is a simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking portrait of poor-white family life in the twilight of apartheid
Richard E. Grant
Engrossing [. . .] it's a love story without romance, or redemption, or a tidy resolution; and all the finer for it
<i>Mail on Sunday</i>
There are belly laughs enough, and some serious criminality to boot, but Ecott's outstanding talent as an author is for pathos. [It] moved me more than once to tears. As an author, Dickens is the comparison
Matthew Parris, <i>The Times</i>
The narrative crackles and fizzles along
<i>Irish Times</i>