REVIEW: Awesome and Inspirational! Wow! Trouble the Water by Rebecca Dwight Bruff was right in my wheelhouse. There was a lot of creative license taken in this novel. It was all for the good and took nothing away from the life of Robert Smalls. She stuck to the facts as much as she possibly could. I absolutely loved the way she imagined how his life was as a young boy born to slavery and as a young man that fought for what he wanted out of life…freedom and a family. He signed up the first black men to fight in the civil war. He went on to represent South Carolina in Washington for five terms. That was an accomplished life! He was an American Hero many of us never learned about.
I read this book during the demonstrations and riots after the death of George Floyd in the custody of police officers. I found myself pausing and pondering the life of our black population 155 years after the civil war. I think President Lincoln and Robert Smalls would be disappointed in the lack of progress that has been made. They both changed so many lives but, it is apparent there is still progress to be made.
Rebecca Dwight Bruff gave me a lot to think about. I learned a lot from her book even though it is fiction. It is a beautiful, well written book and I would advise each one of you to pick up this book and see if it doesn’t change your life. I know Rebecca and Mr. Smalls changed mine.
I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review.
Synopsis: Moving and inspirational, Trouble the Water reveals the little-known real-life story of Robert Smalls.
Born enslaved before the Civil War, Smalls witnesses great privilege and immense suffering alongside his owner’s daughter and the dangerous son of a firebrand secessionist. When he’s only twelve, he’s put to work in Charleston, where he loads ships and learns to pilot a cotton steamer. When the war erupts and his cotton steamer becomes a confederate warship, Robert attempts a harrowing escape to freedom for himself and the people he loves.
- FIRST PLACE/ GOLD WINNER IN 2020 FEATHERED QUILL AWARDS FOR DEBUT NOVEL
- FIRST PLACE/ GOLD WINNER IN 2020 FEATHERED QUILL AWARDS FOR ADULT FICTION
- FIRST PLACE/ GOLD WINNER OF AMERICANBOOKFEST FICTION AWARD
“With this stunning debut novel, Rebecca Bruff establishes herself as an exciting new voice in historical fiction.” –Cassandra King Conroy, author of Moonrise, and Founding Honorary Chair of the Pat Conroy Literary Center