Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Gathering of Waters" by Bernice McFadden

Gathering of Waters
Author: Bernice McFadden
Publisher: Akashic Books
ISBN: 9781617750311
Paperback 250 pages

About the Book
Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi--a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.
Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.
Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till's spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.
Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town's families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism--both disturbing and riveting--combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved.

My Thoughts:

Bernice McFadden has a true gift for storytelling. She illustrates it well when "Gathering of Waters" starts out being told from the point of view of the town of Money, Mississippi. Her lyrical prose will draw the reader in from the very first sentence and will captivate the reader all the way to the very last word.

I love Bernice's writing style and I deeply appreciate her gift to weave a story. I have read her books before and this is one is written in the same style and prose. As much as I have enjoyed her work in the past, I have found something has changed - not with her work, but within me and it ended up making me quite uncomfortable with the things that take place in this book. Bernice has always had an edge to her stories - something that I've enjoyed, but this time, it wasn't the same for me.

"Gathering of Waters" is a historical piece, but it also includes some sexual subjects that I found quite repulsive and with that said, I cannot give a unbiased or fair review. I'm torn between the gift McFadden has for storytelling but the content pulls me in another direction.

To learn more about Bernice and her work, you can visit her webpage at:

I received a copy of this book from the author to read and honestly review.

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