Monday, November 7, 2011

Sister Power: Children of the Waters

Carleen Brice's Children of the Waters follows two women with completely different lives who discover that they are sisters, and from that discover what family really means and how they can define it.  Trish is struggling to define herself as a divorced mom, worried about her son's edging into manhood and especially confronting how his mixed-race status defines him in ways she doesn't want to consider. Worrying about the way her family seems to be fraying, she delves back into some family history to discover that her younger sister didn't die; her grandparents put her up for adoption.

Billie grew up with educated and rich parents who take pride in their African American heritage.  She has immersed herself in spirituality and healing to control her lupus, and her unexpected pregnancy may push this technique to the limit.  Her relationship is tottering under the stress of this pregnancy, and then her connection to her parents is also strained by the sudden revelation that she was adopted, and that her sister is white.  Billie and Trish slowly become friends despite their differences, although each step closer meets a hesitant step back.  The intersection of race and family issues develops organically, with the gentle and rhythmic prose keeping each woman distinctly understood.  I'll look for more books by Brice.

And of course, it takes place in Colorado, which makes me even happier.

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