Customer Reviews for

Gathering of Waters

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted January 16, 2012

    Lest We Forget

    Rich, detailed and historic, Bernice McFadden brings forth another wonderful story filled with all the elements of life – sorrow and joy, good times and bad and the realities that often mark our life. It is the unsettled soul of the dead prostitute Esther that stirs up so much difficulty amongst the living. But often in life, it is such darkness that allows a much needed light to come through. A daring endeavor, the arrival of Emmet Till into the novel had me bracing my heart. Despite knowing how it ended, I found myself wishing for a different ending. But Ms. McFadden handled the incident with truth and care and though my heart surged and ached as I read it, I still felt a soft hope. There is a saying that those who do not remember the past are bound to repeat it and such moments of our history as Americans needs to be remembered, forever. I applaud Ms. McFadden for another skillful glance back into our past and am looking forward to many more such thought evoking, heart rendering stories. “Gathering of Waters” is a true gem and a must read… Margaret Johnson-Hodge author of "In Search of Tennessee Sunshine"

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2012

    THIS NOVEL WAS A CHANGE OF CHARACTER FOR BERNICE MCFADDEN BUT I

    THIS NOVEL WAS A CHANGE OF CHARACTER FOR BERNICE MCFADDEN BUT I TOTALLY ENJOYED IT. I DID NOT WANT THE STORY TO END AND YES IT WAS A REAL STORY THAT CAPTIVATED YOU. LOVED IT.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Gathers history's guilt into hope and mystery

    Mississippi—Many gathering Waters—is the location for Bernice McFadden’s latest novel, Gathering of Waters. It’s also one of the characters in the tale, with the small town of Money Mississippi carrying as convincing a voice as the mysterious narrator of Marcus Zuzak’s The Book Thief. Detached writing brings an absorbing, almost overwhelming depth to this tale, making it one of those rare books I’ve been unable to put down while reading.

    Whether or not you accept the existence and transference of souls, Bernice McFadden’s convincing writing suspends all disbelief and flings the reader into Mississippi’s recent history, riding over the divide of black and white, spinning through fields where thwarted love demands its recompense, surviving childbirth and flood till the arrival of Chicago’s visitor. Though I knew from the cover that Emmett Till was a part of this Mississippi tale, his arrival was so naturally told I forgot his history, welcomed his presence and his voice, and was newly and totally shocked by his sudden demise.

    Author Bernice McFadden brings the impossibly horrific to life with the same sympathy, skill, and humanity as Marcus Zuzak did in The Book Thief, leaving the reader to face man’s inhumanity without prejudgment, and creating a glorious space in ignominy for hope. Life goes on, as does the story, till a word-perfect, picture-perfect, spiritually perfect conclusion truly draws it to a close, leaving this reader breathless and enriched.

    I’ve read other novels by Bernice McFadden, but this one blows me away and I can’t wait to ask my book group to add it to next year’s list.



    Disclosure: I received a free review copy from Akashic books in exchange for my honest review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    Detailed, wonderfully woven story with a very important piece of

    Detailed, wonderfully woven story with a very important piece of history woven into it! AMAZING

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Rogue

    Ugh. *walks out* gtg

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    To below

    You mean a bandana?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    A woman

    She speaks in an irish accent. "Hello there!"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Aero

    Aero jumps down and lands with a thump.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Widow

    Of course.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Rachel

    *Flies in.* Whats up peeps? Rachel Dawson is in!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Great book i loved it

    I only hate that she ever says who Tass father was.

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  • Posted November 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    EXCELLENT JOB!!!!! MY HAT GOES OFF TO MS MCFADDEN, SHE KNOW SHE

    EXCELLENT JOB!!!!!

    MY HAT GOES OFF TO MS MCFADDEN, SHE KNOW SHE DID THE THANG WITH THIS NOVEL. MS MCFADDEN HAS A WAY OF MAKING THE STORY JUMP OFF THE PAGES AND COME TO LIFE. I FELT LIKE I TOO WAS THERE IN MONEY, MISSISSIPPI.

    ALL THE CHARACTERS ESTHER, DOLL, HEMINGWAY, TASS, AND EMMETT STORY WAS POWERFUL. I COULD FEEL THE HATE THAT WAS BEING DEPICTED DURING THAT TIME.

    I MYSELF BEING AN AFRICAN AMERICAN KNEW THE STORY OF EMMETT TILL. BUT TO SEE HOW MS MCFADDEN TOLD THE STORY WAS JUST MIND BLOWING.

    THE SPIRIT OF ESTHER WAS SOMETHING ELSE. I DON'T WANT TO GIVE AWAY ANY OF THE STORY. BUT I WILL TELL YOU, THAT THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ FOR EVERYONE. EVERY RACE AND GENDER COULD BENEFIT READING THIS BOOK. ENJOY.........

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  • Posted September 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Powerful!!! Awesome!!!! This is a must read! Bernice McFadden ha

    Powerful!!! Awesome!!!! This is a must read! Bernice McFadden has done it again! The book is engrossing and hard to put down!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Why did it have to end? Once again, B Mac delivers BIG! Money,

    Why did it have to end? Once again, B Mac delivers BIG!

    Money, Mississippi's alluring voice resonates throughout this book even as it spews a recollection of one of the ugliest events in U.S. history.

    This story takes you on a narrative ride along a path only B Mac can navigate. Although I am very much familiar of the Emmett Till tragedy, my heart raced as I followed her lead in re-imagining the thoughts and intentions of all involved. I would have loved to learn more about the summer romance between Emmett and Tass, but the pre-story was the gripper.

    You will NOT be disappointed as you delve into the history of Doll, Hemingway and most importantly the unseen but ever present ESTHER!

    Incredible character development (one of my favorite aspects of fiction reading).

    Thanks B Mac for another hit!

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  • Posted April 23, 2012

    Bernice L. McFadden is a literary genius! I love reading her boo

    Bernice L. McFadden is a literary genius! I love reading her books, they always take me back into a time of yesteryear, with great detail and since of "being"!!! Gathering of Waters is my new favorite from her and Im pleased to say that I read this book in 2 1/2 days! A great read, I could not put this book down!!! ;0)

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    Ms. McFadden is one of the best Contemporary African American Fe

    Ms. McFadden is one of the best Contemporary African American Female authors out. "Gathering of Waters" was engaging and fresh. McFadden took one of the most brutal acts of racism in American history and intertwined humor, pathos, and understanding of the inhabitants of Money, MS. A very good novel to escape.

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  • Posted April 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Spirits Among the Living Welcome to Money, Mississippi, a tow

    Spirits Among the Living

    Welcome to Money, Mississippi, a town of secrets and spirits. When people die, are their souls truly at rest? In her latest novel, McFadden weaves a tale of fantasy and history as she uses her own imagination to create a background story for the Emmitt Till tragedy.

    “Gathering of Waters” begins with an introduction to Esther, the restless soul of a dead prostitute who will influence many lives in decades to follow. Esther inhabits the body of Doll, a preacher's wife who is anything but holy. Following Doll's life, we are introduced to her daughter, Hemmingway, who fortunately escapes the grasp of the soul of Esther. However, Hemmingway does give birth to a daughter she names Tass. It is through Tass that we finally meet Bobo (Emmitt Till) and are introduced to their brief love affair. Unfortunately, we all know how the story ends. Yet, McFadden manages to turn this tragedy into a romance that reaches beyond the grave.

    McFadden is a masterful storyteller. Her characters leap off the pages with her rich dialogue. I truly enjoyed reading the "prequel" to the Emmitt Till story. Even though this is from her imagination, McFadden writes in such a way that the reader can easily accept it as truth. McFadden has once again given readers a story of sorrow and joy, life and death and hope for tomorrow.

    I loved this novel and highly recommend it.

    Reviewed by: Flashette

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  • Posted March 23, 2012

    Wow! I finished this last night and it was wonderful. I had anot

    Wow! I finished this last night and it was wonderful. I had another book to start. I couldn't do it. I needed to be with this book in my head for awhile after I finished it. I am adding Bernice L. McFadden to my list of favorite writers.

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  • Posted March 21, 2012

    I have to begin by saying, this writer, Bernice L. McFadden, was

    I have to begin by saying, this writer, Bernice L. McFadden, was new to me, and Gathering of Waters was my first experience reading her work.
    I am blown away by her prose! I am blown away by this story! Her words simply blew me into a world of beauty, heartbreak, hate, but most of all love.
    From the first page, I was hooked, and the cliché is always, “I couldn’t put the book down”. Well, I couldn’t!
    We talk about words, and how they are just black letters on white pages, but while reading this writer, McFadden, she does something extraordinary with those letters....they are feathers and clouds strung together with magical string, one following the other, and softly flow around you and caress you, until you feel part of these people, and the town of Muddy, Mississippi.
    Muddy narrates this story, yes, the town itself tells of the people who come and go, which live and die, and survive. I laughed at times; I cried at times, I was haunted and humbled by these people who told me their stories. Gathering of Waters is poignant; it comes alive by this author’s hand, and should (I hope) live in the hearts of all America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Highly Recommended - Excellent Storyteller!

    I couldn't put the book down! Must read!

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