Trouble the Water ~by Jacqueline Friedland


Thank you to Booksparks for sending me a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Abigail Milton was born into the British middle class, but her family has landed in unthinkable debt. To ease their burdens, Abby’s parents send her to America to live off the charity of their old friend, Douglas Elling. When she arrives in Charleston at the age of seventeen, Abigail discovers that the man her parents raved about is a disagreeable widower who wants little to do with her. To her relief, he relegates her care to a governess, leaving her to settle into his enormous estate with little interference. But just as she begins to grow comfortable in her new life, she overhears her benefactor planning the escape of a local slave—and suddenly, everything she thought she knew about Douglas Elling is turned on its head.

Abby’s attempts to learn more about Douglas and his involvement in abolition initiate a circuitous dance of secrets and trust. As Abby and Douglas each attempt to manage their complicated interior lives, readers can’t help but hope that their meandering will lead them straight to each other. Set against the vivid backdrop of Charleston twenty years before the Civil War, Trouble the Water is a captivating tale replete with authentic details about Charleston’s aristocratic planter class, American slavery, and the Underground Railroad.


Calling all fans of historical and southern fiction: you might need to check out this book! It was a great mix of strong women, sassy upper crust society, rule breakers, and unlikely connections. It was also an interesting mix of entitled high society and those working to keep the Underground Railroad moving smoothly.

In addition to the interesting mix of characters and social statuses, it was easy to get into. I’ve been deterred by historical fiction in the past that didn’t read smoothly. Books that take so much effort and concentration to translate into comprehension are a turnoff for me, so I was happy to find that TTW was smooth sailing from the start. Overall, I enjoyed the escape this book offered, and the glimpse into the lifestyles of the Southern elite. ~Amber

Purchase Links: Barnes & Noble – IndieBound – Amazon

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