The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates 401 pages

Coates’ first work of fiction centers on Hiram Walker.  His mother is a slave and his father is the master of a tobacco plantation in Virginia.  His mother disappears when Hiram is a young boy, and he is then cared for by Thena, an old slave whose children have all been sold off.  As he gets older, Hiram is a servant to his half brother, Maynard, the son of his father and the father’s wife.  Eventually it becomes evident that Hiram has a “gift” and because of this, he becomes part of the underground railroad.

I’m not sure why I finished The Water Dancer.  It was confusing, the sentences sometimes made no sense, and Coates’ characterization of Hiram was flat.   I think because I admired the author’s first book, Between the World and Me, I thought The Water Dancer would get better.  It never did.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates 401 pages

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