The Water Dancer begins in the river with two young men – Maynard and Hiram- trying to not get swept away by the river’s current. One of them cannot get away from the water and loses his life. The other man barely escapes with his life. They are half-brothers. One man is the heir to the plantation while the other man is a slave.
Hiram Walker has been gifted with magical powers and a photographic memory ever since his mother was sold to another owner. He and his mother were slaves or “Tasked” at Lockless Plantation in Virginia. Lockless is an ironic name for a plantation where the workers are forced to work
After his mother is sent away, he doesn’t have any real memories of her. The only thing that he knows for sure is that he wants to escape from slavery and protect what is left of his family and friends. Hiram has a female friend that tells him about water dancing and the traditions.
“A water dance is a dance competition during which a dancer keeps a glass or pail of water balanced on his or her head while dancing and tries not to spill the water.” – Wikipedia probably
Corrine Quinn is the fiance of Maynard Walker. After Maynard passed away, Corrine reveals her true involvement in the Underground Railroad. I can’t figure out what her actual intentions are besides wanting to be in control. I think that she wants power. The way to get it is to run the show from the background. She confuses me at some points. Is she evil or good or something in between? Sometimes she does the right thing. I guess she does whatever suits her motives.
Hiram becomes an agent on the Underground Railroad. He uses his magical gift with water to hide the passengers in whatever way he can. Did you know that conductivity of water is a thing? So Hiram conducts water and the passengers in his section of the train.
The Water Dancer is beautifully written. It’s full of magic and sadness, tragedy and triumph.
If you like stories about overcoming adversity and using whatever strength and power that you have to make a new life, then you will enjoy this book.
I would imagine that members of the Ku Klux Klan that can read will not enjoy this book.