The Water Dancer A Novel Author:Ta-Nehisi Coates A boldly imagined work of magic and adventure from the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me. — Every plantation is a house of spies and intrigue, engineered to hide a fundamental reality: that it is built on slavery and built by the enslaved, its true geniuses and laborers stashed away in basements and fields, sleeping u... more »nder beds and entering drawing rooms from passageways hidden behind sliding walls, their faces masks of compliance, their hearts beating with betrayal and insurrection. But against whom?
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage--and lost his mother and all memory of her when he was a child--but he is also gifted with a mysterious power. Hiram almost drowns when he crashes a carriage into a river, but is saved from the depths by a force he doesn't understand, a blue light that lifts him up and lands him a mile away. This strange brush with death forces a new urgency on Hiram's private rebellion. Spurred on by his improvised plantation family, Thena, his chosen mother, a woman of few words and many secrets, and Sophia, a young woman fighting her own war even as she and Hiram fall in love, he becomes determined to escape the only home he's ever known.
So begins an unexpected journey into the covert war on slavery that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia's proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he's enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, all Hiram wants is to return to the Walker Plantation to free the family he left behind--but to do so, he must first master his magical gift and reconstruct the story of his greatest loss.
This is a bracingly original vision of the world of slavery, written with the narrative force of a great adventure. Driven by the author's bold imagination and striking ability to bring readers deep into the interior lives of his brilliantly rendered characters, The Water Dancer is the story of America's oldest struggle--the struggle to tell the truth--from one of our most exciting thinkers and beautiful writers.« less
A fantastic book. I listened to the audiobook read by Joe Morton. What a wonderful âperformanceâ. He read with such enthusiasm and feeling, and this added so much more than just reading the words myself.
All historical fiction is just that â fiction, and The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehesi Coates is no exception. The fiction label allows history to be massaged into a compelling story. However, this history itself is so compelling that it needs no embellishment especially not one based in magic. That concern aside, aspects of the writing pull me right into the middle of the story. That is the history that speaks to me in this book and gives it its power.
Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2020/01/the-water-dancer.html