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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 10 star ratings
3 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
10
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  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Beautifully written

    Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group and Ta-Nehisi Coates for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of The Water Dancer. My opinions and thoughts are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. This is a unique magical book that takes you on a journey. It is going to be hard for me to describe it or at least do it justice. It was really an experience reading it. There is a concrete story and mixed in is magical realism. I am looking forward to hearing the discussions around this book. Oprah has named it her first pick for her new book club on the Apple platform. This isn’t something I normally join, but there is so much to unpack with this story, I would appreciate other people’s perspective, more than just reading people’s reviews. Coates is a very talented writer, as proven in all of his writings. This is his first fiction novel and I certainly hope it isn’t his last. His writing is powerful. At first, I had a hard time understanding what was happening. There were words I didn’t understand, phrases I couldn’t comprehend. I have read lots of novels depicting the slave experience but nothing like this. He uses terms like “The Quality” for slave masters and “The Tasked” for slaves. He talks about how the tasked go “The Natchez way”. It took some getting used to but eventually, things came together. I think one of the reasons it is so powerful is the beauty of the prose juxtaposed with the horrors of slavery. This is the type of book that stays with you. It is hard to shake. You keep coming back to it, reflecting on it. I didn’t want to rush through, I wanted to be present. For those skeptical of the magical realism, don’t be. It doesn’t make the book “woo-woo” or take the seriousness away from the subject matter. I have heard some call it science fiction, it isn’t. I highly recommend this book. This is a special one.
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    Slow-paced but thought-provoking

    See above ^ who has time to write reviews in this economy
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Great read

    This was a well-written book. I loved all of it but wasn't a huge fan of the magical "conducting". The story really didn't need it but it was an effective tool to let the main character grow.
10

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