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Trouble the Water: A Novel by Jacqueline…

Trouble the Water: A Novel (edition 2018)

by Jacqueline Friedland (Author)

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358469,840 (4.56)1
Title:Trouble the Water: A Novel
Authors:Jacqueline Friedland (Author)
Info:SparkPress (2018), 352 pages
Collections:To read
Tags:Historical Fiction

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Trouble the Water: A Novel by Jacqueline Friedland



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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Bought this on a whim and turned out to be worthwhile. It peeks into the pre-Civil War history, slavery, abolitionism, redemption, life renewal, and Charleston society. ( )
  nu-bibliophile | Jan 18, 2019 |
I thought this was a good read. The story is about a young woman in England living with her family and barely getting by. She works to help support her family and she has an uncle that she works for some but he is abusive to her and she can't tell her family since this uncle helps support her family. Her family decides to send her to America to live with a family friend in the hopes she will be happy. Abigail has trouble trusting men and so goes to Charleston to live but with a "wall" surrounding her.

Douglas Elling, the family friend, has his own nightmares. His wife and young daughter were killed when their home was set on fire due to Douglas supposed abolitionist involvement. Two troubled souls. The story deals with slavery, rich plantation owners and the need to marry off their daughters. Romance and misunderstandings with the setting in Charleston, SC. ( )
1 vote written | Jul 1, 2018 |
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. ( )
1 vote leopolds | Jun 23, 2018 |
Douglas Elling has been secretly helping to do what he can to halt the slave trade in his adopted home town of Charleston, S.C. He thinks he can walk a fine line with his neighbors but soon learns that it’s not as easy a thing to do as he first thought and he pays a heavy price for his abolition work. His life changes and so does he but his life will soon change again when the daughter of a childhood friend comes to stay with him.

Abby was sent away from England by her parents. Her family has fallen on hard times. She has been working long hours, taking care of her siblings. Her temperament is changing and it worries her father so he has turned to his old friend for help. Abby is not happy about the exile but she cannot disobey.

Her arrival in America and first meeting with her new guardian is less than auspicious. He basically hands her off to a governess and ignores her. Until she is injured and he realizes he’s been well, an ass. After that point they start to slowly connect. But forces conspire to keep them apart.

This was a intriguing take on a romance novel to be sure. The familiar themes are there but surrounded by a very serious issue – slavery. The inclusion of that makes the tale rise above the typical boy meets girl tale. The story shows a little of the arrogance of slave owners and their thoughts on “their people” without getting too graphic. The side plot of a trip on the Underground Railroad was a thrilling part of the novel and I would have loved more of it.

Ms. Friedland knows how to set a scene and do it well. As a reader you feel like you are there with the characters whether there is at a coming out ball at a Charleston plantation or a slave running in fear from that same place. It’s a real skill for an author to bring her reader into time and place like that and I always appreciate the ones that do it well.

No matter the dark underpinnings this is a love story at its heart and that aspect follows the expected path of the romance novel; boy meets girl. boy and girl hate each other, boy and girl realize they love each other, boy does something stupid, blah blah – you know the routine. I will say that Trouble the Water rises above the routine even in this aspect as the characters are more than caricatures for the most part and the plot is entertaining. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | May 9, 2018 |
Most of this book takes place in the 1840’s in Charleston South Carolina and we meet slavery head on, but there are so many other stories going on here, a bit of romance, unrequited love, jealousy, abuse, and more.
The author has given us a man who has suffered greatly from the hate of others, and we find him rebounding back to life, and then it seems to be snatched away from him.
There is also a young woman who is sent to live from England to an unknown place in South Carolina, she goes away from her family in hopes that life will be easier for them, but there is another reason she leaves.
You will need tissues handy when you get to the epilogue, has a happy, but very sad ending. This is a compelling page-turner, and you won’t be able to leave it until you have all of the answers.

I received this book through the Publisher SparkPress, and was not required to give a positive review. ( )
  alekee | May 8, 2018 |
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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.… (more)

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