Now, granted it’s been a long time since I say Disney’s “Pocahontas” and granted I am reviewing a “based on true events” sort of historical fiction book – it is that in part because there is precious little in the way of recorded history for this time period in American history, I realize I might not have much better to offer. But I think I do.
Reading Libbie Hawker’s incredibly detailed and researched, down to a glossary of terms and a pronunciation guide for the words Pocahontas would have known, made me think. It made me look up parts of history I thought I knew. It taught me things I never expected to learn. And it made me want to read more about Pocahontas and the Jamestown Colony, and read this book again. It isn’t just “history” either, it is also a story. Hawker is incredibly adept at giving personality and substance to what could be obscure details and descriptions of dugout canoes. Her words made me feel like I was in Jamestown and in Werewocomoco.
That is what a historical novel is supposed to do.
And I felt things for this story. I wanted it to end well for them, though I knew how it ends. I want them to be happy, to find love, and to find peace. I cared.
(I received a copy of TIDEWATER from NetGalley and Running Rabbit Press in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.)