Actor William DeMeritt’s deep, measured narration enhances the elegant, evocative prose of Nathan Harris’ debut novel, The Sweetness of Water (12 hours).
In the waning blood-filled days of the Civil War, Georgia farmer George Walker hires formerly enslaved brothers Landry and Prentiss to work his peanut farm—and perhaps to ease his restless soul. When George’s Confederate soldier son, Caleb, unexpectedly returns home, and Caleb’s romantic relationship with another soldier comes to light, tensions between George’s family and the town’s disapproving residents boil over. Only the cool, determined leadership of George’s wife, Isabelle, offers a path to healing.
DeMeritt’s performance of this Southern cast of characters reveals an actor in full control of his range. Particularly for the male roles, DeMeritt narrates with such skill that the listener can envision some of the characters’ faces just by the way their voices sound. Amid this world of unbridled change, DeMeritt illuminates subtle yearnings, quiet dangers and a persistent sense of hope.