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Comments (48)

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1 to 25 of 48 items
Apr 28, 2021SmallSnapper rated this title 3.5 out of 5 stars
This powerful and magical novel is set in civil war Virginia on a slave plantation called Lockless, where the wealth of the slave owners are dying, their land worked dry. With their power slipping, it gives chance for a young slave, Hiram…
Mar 25, 2021TJH1229 rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
Read it!
Mar 18, 20211tarheel rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
Such a great yarn, so beautifully written, with this mystical twist that I love. Huge fan of Coates' writing: he manages to use just enough words to paint the scene but never more. And, yes, I appreciate this clear-eyed look at slavery…
Mar 13, 2021Appledaylee rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
Beautifully written, this book was one of the best I’ve read in quite some time. Highly recommended
Mar 11, 2021denville rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
Really engrossing book. Wished for a little less magical mystery, but it is a book that I’m still carrying around in my memory. Impactful and enlightening.
Jan 09, 2021Cidherman rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
THE WATER DANCER is a beautifully written book that speaks from the heart about the ravages the institution of slavery wreaked upon the human spirit and decency itself. I loved UNCLE TOM'S CABIN and years after reading it, it remains my…
Nov 28, 2020IndyPL_JoniMK rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
After reading a three-star review of Water Dancer, I had to write my own and give Water Dancer five stars: Though he usually writes non-fiction, Coates ‘attempt’ at historical science fiction is better than many other books by many other…
Sep 20, 2020Bookworm1136 rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
4 1/2 star read. This Oprah book club selection was a very different and engrossing read. Coates tells the story of Hiram Walker, a slave on the fabled Lockless plantation in Virginia. Hiram is a servant to his half brother Maynard and…
Sep 16, 2020mighty_mom rated this title 3 out of 5 stars
Not a fan if the mystical elements woven into this story, as it seems to downgrade the work of Harriet Tubman. There are nice poetic turns, but I was surprised that the author didn't tell us what the protagonist looked like until the end…
Sep 14, 2020LPL_ShirleyB rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
Read an immersive tale to celebrate the Underground Railroad. Ta-Nehisi Coates’s first work of fiction is as beautiful and wise as his essays!
comment from JCLBetM
Library Staff
Aug 29, 2020JCLBetM rated this title 3.5 out of 5 stars
An interesting read that nevertheless seemed to keep me at arms length throughout. I appreciated getting a better perspective of the different experiences slaves endured, and I wondered if because the characters had to section off their…
Aug 25, 2020nikkeshiawilson rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
Magical realism is an infusion of magical into reality, hence the term. It's usage lends itself to the awe and wonder of a woman that freed many enslaved during a terrible time in US history. It's not a literary device everyone will enjoy,…
Jul 13, 2020LPL_LeahN rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
"The jump is done by the power of the story. It pulls from our particular histories, from all of our loves and all of our losses, all of that feeling is called up and on the strength of our remembrances, we are moved." This is Conduction. …
Jul 11, 2020AnnSkye rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
An excellent read.
Jul 10, 2020amsites rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
I ended up renting the audio version and I’m so glad I did. It took a little bit to get into the book but once I did I loved it. It was also cool that it included some magical realism. I would suggest this book.
Jul 10, 2020mogie rated this title 3 out of 5 stars
I picked up this book upon recommendation. It was ok, thus 3 stars. I am not good with mysticism so would not likely have ever adored this book. It was a bit of a slog for me. I definitely could put it down. It was an interesting concept…
Jul 09, 2020fionajay rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
Incredibly moving story of the Tasked people at the unmerciful end of Virginian slavery, brutal yet beautiful; full of love, faith, and a little bit of ancient magic for good measure. Winner of the 2020 British Fantasy Award for Best…
May 15, 2020JANMAYS rated this title 2 out of 5 stars
Asian women diving for oysters. Nothing to write home about.
Apr 29, 2020LindaChesnut rated this title 3 out of 5 stars
Wierd - that's about all one can say about it
Mar 31, 2020skdawson rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
While the pacing was slow, I felt like it was part of the story that because Hiram remembered so many details in memories that they would need to be described in order to accomplish his point of view effectively. However, the slow pacing…
Mar 26, 2020AnnieFofa rated this title 1 out of 5 stars
I found this a very difficult book to get enthused about reading. The “magical” aspect was a little too unbelievable. If I had not been forced to stay at home these weeks, I probably would not have finished reading it.
Feb 27, 2020Linyarai rated this title 2 out of 5 stars
I read this for the "Literary Fiction" part of my 2020 reading challenge. I expected to like this, I wish I had liked this, but I really didn't. I usually like historical fiction and fantasy and everything, but this was just really slow…
Feb 24, 2020EmilyEm rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
The first novel by brilliant writer Coates explores the powerful influence of memory on a remarkable Hiram Walker, enslaved in Virginia’s tobacco empire and ‘recruited’ by the Underground. Remarkable cast of characters that explores…
Feb 21, 2020ArapahoeStaff26 rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
How do you recover your humanity when it is ripped from you? Create magic from love, loyalty, memory, language.
Feb 13, 2020clancy_pants rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
This is the kind of book that improves upon reflection. I had to read carefully sometimes to understand what was going on, but it was worth it. My favorite part of the book was the evolution of the relationship between Hiram and Sophia.…