Color draws you into the rich and dangerous currents of demanding personal dramas and violent pasts. Charlotte-- our main guide and narrator -- has to tell her tale because 'it hit me ... My people: whites, blacks, Native Americans, all the jumbled pieces. I was going to go and confront it'. A deceptively simple journey of self-rediscovery and return puts these pieces together in shocking and beautiful patterns (not for nothing is Charlotte a successful exhibiting artist ). The tale -- an epic one, through circle after circle of experience -- leads you out into waves of heat, emotion, angry facts, revelations and recalled loves. Nobody within or on the outside of these pages comes out untouched by the encounter with the 'restive parade' of its histories.
A powerful and gripping first novel by a jazz singer who is also a cultural commentator and a fine stylist. Set in Virginia in the twentieth century, it portrays perceptively and unflinchingly the tormented lives of Native Americans and African Americans, their search for identity ("in a land where all are aliens, whether they know it or not", as my wife commented), and the family tensions caused by social mobility. The book combines conventional narrative with monologues in an original way to express the intimate thoughts and perceptions of the protagonists. Not for the faint-hearted, but a compelling and affecting read.
This is a beautifully written book. The story told here comes alive through the voices of the characters. We are drawn into the very atmosphere of the Virginian landscape and its communities. I found it immensely moving, and a very worthy new addition to the catalogue of American novels.
The place itself, Tidewater, and the people in it are brilliantly evoked: the heat, the madness, the love and hatred, but above all the inextricable ties of family. The vivid monologues, in which each character is introduced and revealed, echo the ebb and flow of the river and explore the issues of race and racism, alienation and reconciliation. This book has all the hallmarks of a classic. Read it!
An excellent read full of many fascinating voices! An interesting exploration into the relationship between African-Americans and Native Americans. For those interested in authors like Toni Morrison, this is the novel for you! Beautifully written prose and poetry. A moving novel that I cannot wait to read again!