This book is a historical fiction novel taking place in the 1800s It takes us to Charleston SC, where Abby Milton, who is from England goes to stay with a friend of her families, Douglas Eling He is a widower, and offered to take her in, as a way to help out her family who has fallen into debt At first Abby is not fond of Douglas He leaves her in the care of the governess, who also cared for his daughter, and he seems angry Over time, she learns there is much to him She learns of Douglas s involvement in the underground railroad It took a bit to get going, but once it did, I was really pulled into this story There was quite a love story here And I loved all the descriptions of Charleston, and I grew to love these characters If you are a historical fiction lover, I highly recommend you pick this lovely book up This book started on a gut wrenchingly vivid note, but it ultimately fell flat for me Early on, I thought I would not be able to read it I thought it was too heavy of a subject matter, but it didn t end up dwelling on any aspect for too long The story was told from multiple characters perspectives and takes place primarily in Charleston, South Carolina I would say there were three main characters Douglas, a successful businessman in shipping, Abby, his temporary ward, and Clover, a pregnant slave It is a romance and historical fiction and is trying to do too much within the page space allotted.Douglas has dealings in the Underground Railroad Abby is from Liverpool sent by her family because of her unmanageable temperament, which is explained and understandable, but her family doesn t understand and thinks a change of scene is in order Clover is a slave in the nearby Cunningham household Abby is in her presence maybe twice and I don t believe Douglas ever was so there was little connection between the Clover and the other MCs I felt the characterization of the Cunningham family was off They seemed like a caricature of a quintessential Southern family, and their role was to show the Southern way of life with slaves, throwing in facts and statistics that were suspect at times into conversation as way to show the author did the research rather than true to character.The romance was nice enough but not very compelling Not enough time spent on the development of the relationship to be very satisfying The writing is clean and strong, but it needed something to standout Not a bad read Just not a great one either I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 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 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 1840 s Charleston, South Carolina This is a new to me publisher,SparkPress and I must say I am very impressed with this historical fiction book they have published I am open to reading by this publisher The cover is the book is very eye catching Abigail Milton Abby is from a middle class British family but when finances become an issue she is sent to America to live off the charity of their old friend, Douglas Elling Very unsure of herself and not sure what to do with her time Abby is miserable The widower who is take take care of her is a grumpy man who has lost his daughter and wife and wants nothing to do with her Staying out of his way is the preferred thing for her Life starts to open up for Abby as she gets used to her new living situation an starts to become comfortable Unable to help but overhear her benefactor making plans for the escape of a slave Does she really know, Douglas He sure doesn t seem to be the man she thought the was The author has really done her research as this book is rich in details about abolitionist,Charleston s aristocratic planter class, American slavery, and the Underground Railroad all taking place 20 years before the Civil War Fascinating and I highly recommend it.Publish date 08 May 2018I received a complimentary copy of this book from SparkPress through NetGalley Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. There s promise in this book, but it badly needs a better editor The two storylines have only marginal cross over The author totally abandons the story of Clover, a slave escaping on the Underground Railroad, for most of the last 1 3 of the book Then, just as the main storyline is wrapping up in a pleasing fashion, she yanks the rug out from under readers hoping for a romantic reunion scene by abruptly switching gears to a strange epilogue from Clover s point of view.There are many tantalizing red herrings that are brought up, but never developed or explained Why is Cora Rae so nice to the slaves, which is totally out of character for her Does Mrs Cunningham really know who impregnated Clover, or does she only suspect Does Cora know Who set fire to the Elling mansion I could go on and on These are brought up and teased as being important plot points, then are never mentioned again.All in all, I found this novel frustrating A slow first 2 3 gives way to a rushed final 1 3, and the muted payoff is not worth the patience required to reach it. Trouble the Water takes you back in time to Charleston, South Carolina during the 1800 s, before the Civil War Seventeen year old Abbigail Milton has arrived from England to stay with Douglas Elling, a friend of her parents who have recently landed in unthinkable debt.Abby is disgusted by her new guardian as she meets Douglas, but first impressions aren t always what they first appear When Abby overhears him planning the escape of a local slave, she is suddenly taken aback by him and finds herself falling for her benefactor.I loved the rich atmosphere of this Charleston love story, woven together with a strong willed woman and a kind hearted widower With the backdrop of this notorious southern city, I loved seeing the involvement in the abolitionist movement and supporting the Underground Railroad Trouble the Water has a great cast of characters, from Abby and Douglas, to the debutante women she befriends, to the slaves she meets. Thanks to BookSparks for the free review copy of this book as a part of SRC2018 I read this entire book in one day, and thoroughly enjoyed this historical romance set in 1840 s Charleston, SC The anti slavery and Underground Railroad storyline was such a welcome one, and I definitely learned a lot about the slave trade The only fault I can find is that I wish the book had been longer, but I ll hold out hope that it will be the first in a series. I was excited for this based on all the glowing reviews, but unfortunately I only made it to the halfway point and just didn t have any interest in continuing I found Abby immature and the inclusion of a debutante s POV and the machinations of her female relatives irksome Fairly predictable and stereotypical I just wasn t invested enough to keep reading. Seventeen year old Abigail Milton is sent from England to live with family friend Douglas Elling in Charleston Abby s family is struggling financially and they hope that she will benefit from living in an upper class home Douglas is a widower who runs a shipping company and his role as an abolitionist has made him a loner in the pre civil war South He introduces Abby to a different society full of wealth debutante balls Douglas does little to help Abby acclimate to her new surroundings He delegates her education to a governess who resides at his mansion and avoids her company Abby finds him unlikable but is appreciative of his home and financial assistance Her opinion of Douglas quickly changes when she overhears a private conversation She learns that he is secretly working to help slaves escape to the North Abby makes a bigger attempt to involve herself in Douglas life after discovering that they share similar beliefs and morals.This is a debut novel by Jacqueline Friedland Trouble The Water is a wonderful historical fiction read with an interesting assortment of characters I applaud the amount of research invested in this novel which helps brings readers back in time. Abigail Milton was living in England when her previously middle class family found itself in huge debt To ameliorate things, they sent Abby to live in America There, she ll live with a family friend, Douglas Elling, in Charleston Elling is a widower with a foul temperament, but luckily Abby is given to a governess where she is mostly left alone One day, Abby finds out that Elling is going to assist in the escape of a local slave Abby attempts to find out about how Douglas has been involved in abolition There s a tension that builds as the two become closer Ok, I loved this time period and the Charleston setting What an important period in our nation s history The Underground Railroad always makes for an intriguing and hopefully redeeming story.I also loved Abby, and I grew to love Douglas The dynamic between them was palpable Overall, Trouble the Water is a fascinating historical with the vivid backdrop of Charleston in the pre Civil War time period I received a complimentary copy All opinions are my own.My review can also be found on my blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com
Jacqueline Friedland holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from NYU Law School She practiced as an attorney in New York before returning to school to receive her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College She lives in New York with her husband, four children, and a couple of crazy dogs.
- Kindle Edition
- 353 pages
- Trouble the Water
- Jacqueline Friedland
- 04 May 2017 Jacqueline Friedland