Troubled Waters

Harper Muse. May 2024. 384p. ISBN 9781400248117. pap. $17.99. F
DEBUT Corinne harbors a lifetime preoccupation with the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. She feels it deep in her bones, in her connection to the past, and in her need to express the urgency of climate change. At the close of 2013, she heads home to Port Gibson, MS, furiously mourning the death of her brother on an oil ship in the Mississippi River. Corinne’s grandmother Cora also mourns, but there is a distance between them. As a very young child, Cora was integrating schools in 1950s Nashville and still bears scars that she’s kept from her family in hopes that they might live a freer life. As Corinne sets out determined to honor her brother’s life and avenge his death, she and Cora must find their way to each other through the past and into a future where healing might be possible.
VERDICT Weaving together generational trauma, untold stories of the civil rights movement, and an exploration of the impacts of environmental trauma and climate change, Heglar packs a wallop in this lyrical, powerful story of Black women, family love, endurance, and the power of place.
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