The Ways of Water: An Evening with Teresa Janssen

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Please join us on Tuesday, March 12th at 6pm for a reading, Q&A, and book signing with Teresa Janssen, author of The Ways of Water.

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is encouraged: please RSVP here.


Teresa H. Janssen is a career educator whose essays and short fiction have appeared in anthologies and literary magazines, including Zyzzyva, Parabola, Chautauqua, Eastern Iowa Review, Notre Dame Magazine, and Los Angeles Review. A descendant of New Mexico settlers, her debut historical novel, The Ways of Water, is inspired by family lore. The novel recently won the 2024 Best Book Award in Western Fiction. Teresa writes from her home in Port Townsend, WA.


This finely crafted coming-of-age novel takes the reader on an unforgettable journey with a young woman whose life is shaken by world events. Set in the early twentieth-century Southwest, where water means everything, The Ways of Water is a poignant and heart-warming testament to the meaning of family and the strength of the human spirit.

As Josie Belle Gore, daughter of a Louisiana train engineer and Texas seamstress, journeys with her itinerant family through the deserts of the boom-and-bust American West and revolutionary Mexico, she learns that in her life, two things are constant: water is precious, and her role in her family is to save it.

When unforeseeable events force the separation of her family, Josie begins an odyssey that takes her from New Mexico’s Jornada del Muerto to Bisbee, Tucson, Los Angeles, and finally post-WWI San Francisco—experiencing betrayal, pandemic, and survivor’s guilt, as well as the compassion and generosity of friends and strangers, along the way. Once she lands in San Francisco, like a river meeting the sea, Josie has nowhere else to run—and she realizes that she must make peace with the past and good on her promise to the family she loves. Inspired by the author’s family lore, The Ways of Water is a lyrical tale of loss, hope, and forgiveness set in the rugged beauty of the turn-of-the-century Southwest that, like Josie, is growing up in fits and starts.

Event address: 
18 N. San Francisco St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001-5230
The Ways of Water By Teresa H. Janssen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781647425838
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: She Writes Press - November 7th, 2023