The Water Seeker


"A gift might be abandoned, but it will always be there, waiting to be claimed."

What would you do if you knew you had a special gift--a sixth sense--that was passed down from one generation to the next? A gift that could help people in times of need, but one your father often saw as a trap. Would you use that gift?
This is the story of Amos Kincaid, the dowser's son.








The inspiration for this story happened a dozen years ago around a dinner table when my husband mentioned that his dad taught him to dowse in the backyard. My father-in-law was born in 1898, the son of a farmer. His first job beyond the farm was as a blacksmith. Then he worked for Standard Oil, laying pipeline and sometimes dowsing places for pump stations. My husband doesn’t know how his dad learned to dowse, but I suspect it was his father who taught him.


    I wanted to tell a story about a gift passed down from father to son through the generations. As a teen, I enjoyed reading epics because they reached wide and far into a character’s life. Entering those worlds sometimes caused me to get a sunburn, neglect my chores, or miss a study session. The books I loved the most treated setting as a character, too. That’s why I chose to write Amos’ story against the backdrop of America’s movement west. In its simplest form, The Water Seeker is a story of a boy’s life. But I also wanted readers to experience what those brave pioneers went through to reach their final destination.


“Holt serves up an absorbing, atmospheric epic of intertwined lives on America's western frontier.”Publishers Weekly, Starred

“Drawing on such diverse themes as Manifest Destiny, personal identity and cross-cultural relationships, the author has crafted a satisfying all-ages story that hosts a dazzling array of richly realized secondary characters...and flows as effortlessly as the Platte River."Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Holt creates a moving, palpable sense of pioneer life in graceful prose that occasionally reads like poetry. And her memorable characters’ stories raise powerful questions about how lives are shaped: by chance, skill, inherited gifts...and love that transcends generations and even mortality.” Booklist