Gathering of Waters
by Bernice L. McFadden


The novel is a multigenerational story of black families surviving on the cusp of 20th century Mississippi.

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The narrative frame uses the perspective of a town (or maybe a spirit that embodies Money, Mississippi). The story is a human story about legacies and superstition.

The book is a shorter read, and the style is 3rd person omniscient viewpoint with less introspection. Events and memories pass by in fleeting snippets.

The dialogue was the best point. It felt lived, like a highlight reel of the funniest quotes. However, the style, a string of vignettes, lends to an incohesive plot. While reading, it is better to enjoy how the characters react.

It was unique in its use of calming imagery, and highlighted the fear and reverence of water in Southern US culture. Although the book contains a murder, it’s more spooky than graphic. If you want to peek into the quiet and unassuming lives of normal people making do with what they have, definitely consider Gathering of Waters.

Verdict: 3.5 / 5

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