Book Review: Trouble the Water

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Author: Jacqueline Friedland

Pages: 341

Goodreads Synopsis: Abigail Milton was born into the British middle class, but her family has landed in unthinkable debt. To ease their burdens, Abby’s parents send her to America to live off the charity of their old friend, Douglas Elling. When she arrives in Charleston at the age of seventeen, Abigail discovers that the man her parents raved about is a disagreeable widower who wants little to do with her. To her relief, he relegates her care to a governess, leaving her to settle into his enormous estate with little interference. But just as she begins to grow comfortable in her new life, she overhears her benefactor planning the escape of a local slave—and suddenly, everything she thought she knew about Douglas Elling is turned on its head.

Abby’s attempts to learn more about Douglas and his involvement in abolition initiate a circuitous dance of secrets and trust. As Abby and Douglas each attempt to manage their complicated interior lives, readers can’t help but hope that their meandering will lead them straight to each other. Set against the vivid backdrop of Charleston twenty years before the Civil War, Trouble the Water is a captivating tale replete with authentic details about Charleston’s aristocratic planter class, American slavery, and the Underground Railroad.”

Review: At first glance, this book sounded like it was going to be amazing — who doesn’t want to read about the Underground Railroad in Charleston? But it didn’t take me long to realize that this story was going to be more of a love story than anything about the Underground Railroad and American Slavery. Sure, there were instances of this but I wanted more. I wanted to see Douglas’ life when he was helping the Underground Railroad instead of where this story took us. I was also not a huge fan of Abby, I mean, she was fine but again I was looking for more.  There was just something missing in the characters, and in the story line. I honestly felt the synopsis was a little on the misleading side, which is a bummer.

Overall Rating: 2/5 stars

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