“The Water Dancer” a historical fiction novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates was a powerful story of slavery in Virginia on a tobacco plantation. While the gory details of abuses by slave owners were omitted, the horrifying accounts of splitting up families, husband and wife, removing children from parents, and then the desperate flight to the North in search of freedom all made for a thrilling read.
Coates follows the story of Hiram Walker, a favored slave, son of “quality,” a white plantation owner, and a female slave. As a young boy, his talent for remembering things earns him a place in the house, and an education to help his brother, Maynard, who is being groomed to take over the plantation when his father passes. Hiram’s grandmother, a first generation slave from Africa, is known for “conducting” 48 fellow African slaves away from the plantation and onto a boat back to Africa.
As time goes by, Hiram’s urge to flee intensifies and he learns about his mother and his past in a new light that makes him an ideal “conductor” on the Underground Railroad alongside “Moses,” aka Harriet Tubman.
The historical background and compelling story both make this an excellent read.
I received this eBook free of charge from Random House Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I did not receive any fiscal compensation from either company for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.