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I won't say I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, but that might be because I haven’t read many books for the genre. However, I love the idea of taking something that has happened and is documented (or not), and weaving it into something that we can and want to relate to. I’m a proud Virginian, born and raised. It was pretty cool that I came across this novel two days before my youngest daughter brings home her permission slip for her class’ Jamestown field trip.
That tidbit of useless information aside, I’m going to try to turn the love that I have for this book into an understandable strings of words. For some reason, I have a harder time reviewing books that I love vs. books that I like or do not like at all.
Tidewater, while historical fiction, manages to capture, and play off some key points of this very important time in Virginia history. I loved the contrast between the palisade of early, strong-willed Jamestown and the territories of the graceful Native Americans. Not just where they lived in relation to each other, but the hardship of their relationship (or lack of). While we can never be sure of how it really was, Libbie Hawker does an awesome job of making it all seem very real, and very understandable. I feel like she really brought the characters back to life, and I found myself loving them, all of them.
This novel is beautiful, and dramatic, and expressive, and touching, and when you make to the end of this very long novel, it’s rewarding. You walk away wishing that the events, though they are often heartbreaking, really was what happened, because you experience a closeness with the story by the time you read the last page. To add to it all, there is an author’s note at the end of the novel that almost comes as a blessing. And after you read it, you’ll understand why.
Hawker’s words were a joy to read because, wow, her writing is brilliant; which always makes the story any author is telling that much more enjoyable, and rare. I look forward to reading more from Libbie Hawker, and hope that she plans to write more about Jamestown, as its history didn’t end with Pocahontas and John Smith. I give this book five stars, because it’s an all around awesome book.
__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________
T I T L E: Tidewater
A U T H O R: Libbie Hawker
P U B L I S H E R: Lake Union Publishing
P U B L I S H--D A T E: May 19, 2015
I S B N: 9781477829929
Historical Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)In 1607, three ships arrive on the coast of Virginia to establish Jamestown Colony. One girl’s life—and the lives of her people—are changed forever. To Pocahontas and her people, the Tidewater is the rightful home of the Powhatan tribe. To England, it is Virginia Territory, fertile with promise, rich with silver and gold. As Jamestown struggles to take root, John Smith knows that the only hope for survival lies with the Powhatan people. He knows, too, that they would rather see the English starve than yield their homeland to invaders. In the midst of this conflict, Pocahontas, the daughter of the great chief, forges an unlikely friendship with Smith. Their bond preserves a wary peace—but control can rest only in one nation’s hands. When that peace is broken, Pocahontas must choose between power and servitude—between self and sacrifice—for the sake of her people and her land.
*I received an advanced copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review*