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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.7 out of 5
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  • Evocative, tragic, and incredibly affecting!

    The Sweetness of Water is a powerful, riveting, emotionally-charged tale that sweeps you away to Georgia at the end of the civil war and takes you into the lives of a handful of people, including a lost father, a grieving mother, a returned soldier with a lot of aggression and a secret he will protect at any cost, two brothers recently enslaved who are slowly adapting to their newfound freedom, and a myriad of other southern people struggling to survive and accept the repercussions, fallout, and new way of life caused by their recent defeat by the Union Army. The prose is sensitive and expressive. The characters are multi-layered, resilient, and vulnerable. And the plot, set during the mid-1860s, is a profoundly moving tale about war, familial relationships, heartbreak, loss, guilt, grief, shame, suspicion, secrets, desperation, resilience, hope, courage, resentment, emancipation, unlikely friendships, and forbidden love. Overall, The Sweetness of Water is the perfect blend of historical facts, compelling fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a beautifully written, impactful, stunning debut by Harris that does a remarkable job of highlighting the indomitable spirit of humanity to endure, survive, conquer, forgive, and even love under even the harshest of circumstances.

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  • A compelling historical novel

    “TheSweetness of Water” is set in rural Georgia just before the end of the Civil War. As the story begins, Isabelle and George Walker are mourning their son Caleb, a Confederate soldier who they believe was killed during the war. Then Caleb returns home alive and renews his childhood friendship with August; now, in young adulthood, Caleb and August have a homosexual relationship. A tragedy occurs due to August's fear of his homosexuality become known, as he is engaged to be married. While walking in the woods, George encountered brothers Prentiiss and Landry, freed slaves who are camping in the forest. George offers the brothers employment on his farm where he plans to cultivate peanuts. His employment of the brothers does not sit well with the brothers' former owner, and the arrangement causes strife between George and members of the community. The above situations all converge to create a compelling plot. Imbedded in the story is the theme of freedom. A very good read.

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  • The sweetness of water

    Excellent! I was sorry to see the end, I wanted it to continue. Perhaps a Part Two coming, Nathan!

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