Title: Trouble The Water
Author: Rebecca Dwight Bruff
Publisher: Köehler Books
My thoughts on the story:
This book has the feel of a Great American Novel. The same sort of feel as The Grapes of Wrath, but dealing with slavery and oppression during the Civil War, rather than the economic hardships during the Great Depression.
With themes of race, religion, and relationships, Trouble The Water is a fictional story inspired by the heroic and hard life of Robert Smalls. I’m surprised I never heard of Smalls (nicknamed Trouble) before reading this book, seeing how his life notably impacted history.
As with most things in the South, the story takes its sweet time, in no hurry to reveal details before they’re needed. Softly and slowly, the reader journeys through Trouble’s days, where his view of Beaufort and the world as he saw it from the South Carolina low country is revealed. Actually, in this instance, I prefer the leisure approach which allows me to soak in the emotions, experience the hardships, losses, and anger through the eyes of a house slave, a field slave, a mother, and more.
It’s difficult to say I enjoyed this story, due to the ugliness of much of the subject matter, but I certainly will never forget it. I’ve learned so much and am changed—two important things I hope to gain through fiction and non-fiction alike. There is much beauty to be found within these pages.
Thoughts on the cover:
Love it! The serene scene on the cover serves as a guise to the frightening undercurrent of the story.
Thoughts on the title:
I love the double entendre of the title.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through BookPleasures. I was under no obligation to post a positive review.
Quotes from the book:
She knew—they all knew—that every mother of every boy child was just as likely to bury that child as to see him grown. She knew that every mother of every girl child was almost sure to see her daughter sold or raped—or both.
Sometimes we need a sip of hope or strength from one another … I nodded. A sip of hope. I knew I was terrible thirsty.