Sometimes wonderful, often strange, I struggled with parts of this book but in the end loved it. Here is my book review The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Slavery is alive and well but the great plantations of Virginia are diminishing and struggling. We are introduced to Hiram, a mixed race slave fathered by the plantation owner of Lockless. Hiram’s mother was sold when he was very young and he struggles to find his own place. Unlike any slavery novel I’ve read the vocabulary surrounding the era is interested. The “enslaved” are referred to as “tasked”, the plantation owners are the “quality” and the low-class whites are “the low”.
Conduction is the super human ability he possesses, with a handful of other like him, he is recruited to help with the underground railroad. He is betrayed by one he trusts, loses the love of his life, meets Harriet Tubman and is able to find his way in helping the Underground, and eventually finding his way back to the family he loves.
Hiram knows always that he is different than many of the other slaves. But he doesn’t understand the super natural events that he has witnessed in his young life. He knows he is intelligent with an extraordinary photographic memory, but only after his half brother dies in a freak accident does his unique super natural abilities come to light…for both himself and one of the “quality”.
Not Just Another Slavery Story
Coates debut novel is a unique twist on the Pre-Civil War story, a look at life in slavery, the Underground work down by black and white alike, and the super natural power many African slaves believed could and would save them from the depths of a horrific life.
Four tars for The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Thanks for reading my book review The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
See last week’s book review Tom Lake by Ann Patchett.
My current read Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
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