Trouble the Water by Rebecca Dwight Bruff.

Trouble the Water is warmhearted, even-tempered, biographical fiction told with such delicacy that the reader drifts from its true-to-life scaffolding. In this captivating novel, Author Rebecca Dwight Bruff fearlessly takes on an era in American history a lesser writer wouldn’t touch, and she does so with admirable confidence while reaching the heart of what is essentially a human-interest story.
Trouble the Water is a soulful story populated with racially divided, interdependent characters in the midst of the South’s changing times. It is pre-Civil War in Beaufort, South Carolina, a hotbed of beneath-the-surface discontent set against the facade of waterfront civility. It is the historically significant, Robert Small’s, first-person story: he was born into slavery when there was nothing to be done about it, not yet. In an equanimous voice that makes us care from the onset, the story carries the reader through vividly drawn Low Country settings that are part and parcel to the flow of the chronicle. With a steady hand, Rebecca Dwight Bruff presents a ringside seat through the personal stages of Robert Small’s hard-won achievements. He is Horatio Alger guided by spirit on a hero’s journey, a dauntless man with a mission whose triumphant act becomes a turning point in the Civil War and impacts the ages.
I recommend Trouble the Water to those who love well-rooted historical fiction, biographical fiction, and a beautifully told story with a satisfying sense of redemption. All praise for author Rebecca Dwight Bruff. I understand she moved from Texas to South Carolina to research and write this gorgeous novel. In this humble reader’s opinion, the move was worth it.

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