I wrote an earlier article in Thrive Global, “Why who is the storyteller matters.” The Water Dancer is a story that moves between heartbeats of a mystic to tears of a slave.
First disclaimer, I purchased the book to read for a book club. I am partial to non-fiction and had no plans of reading this author’s first novel nor have I read any of his books.
It took me a very long time to finish the book, in fact the book club never met to discuss it. I was committed to read the book but the pandemic interrupted my stride. I would stop and it would take long periods of time to re-start. Then I found the nest of the story, the transformation of lives once caged now literally free like birds. I was spell-bound by the old and new symphonies sung on the water by a slaves and their conductors seeking the promised land.
The pace picked up and toward the end I was almost sad to say good bye to those who learned to co-exist in the underground of their souls.
What became clear to me was that stories and their storytellers’ matter. The storytelling here is not about words on a page — that you can get anywhere. The story here is about how souls came together for salivation and how their spirits learned to dance on the water.