Gathering of Waters begins in the early 1920’s in Oklahoma, with a girl named Doll possessed by an evil spirit. After an unsuccessful exorcism, Doll’s mother to put her up for adoption. The story then shifts to Money, Mississippi, where Doll is raised under the influence of the unpleasant, unforgiving spirit that resides in her. She steals, she has sex with strangers and eventually gives birth to a daughter who comes to resent her. After the flood of 1927, the story focuses on the daughter, Hemmingway, just until her own daughter, Tass, falls in love with Emmett Till.
The novel Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden is not sad without purpose. It is a historical reminder to all races who have in the past or present or might in the future stare at the dark clouds of oppression and hate because of their ethnicity. Books reiterating these sad truths must continue to be written. Bernice L. McFadden did an exceptional job in her new novel and has seen great reviews by Publishers Weekly, NPR and the New York Time Sunday Review.