Friday, February 9, 2018

Book Review: 'Black Waters' by India R. Adams

North Carolina author/singer/songwriter India R Adams has lived across the United States and endured abuse and has altered that scar to work toward educating her readers about domestic violence, sexual abuse, and human trafficking.

One of the several aspects that make India’s stories satisfying is her equal mixture of tragedy with humor – which balance playwrights strive to imitate from Shakespeare to the present. Another gift she brings to her readers is the poetic, songful phrasing of her writing. For example, in her brief Preface to his story she writes, ‘The muffled, distorted sounds under water always comforted me and brought about peaceful moments where I could feel boundless, with no restraints from the real world trying to mask me— contain me. That’s why I always swam through the water instead of on top for easy access to the air I needed to live. In the underworld, I felt air was not necessary and found the softened noises serene and uniquely beautiful, but there was no beauty in her dying that day… The blue water Whit once loved now looked black because it was claiming her, taking her from me. Crash was unconscious. Blood floated from his wounds, and his shirt remained clutched in her desperate, tiny fist. I swam with a vengeance to save her. At least, that’s what I believed until I saw her expression, the message in her eyes. The ballerina’s sacrifice… I knew Whitney was choosing to die for him, with him. Morning sunrays lit the way, shining a path through the blackness to my best friend, to my— giving me even more determination to reach the girl I loved and not let her succeed. Her elegant dancer hand floated gracefully above her, following her
undeniable descent until her fingers twitched as if life— hope— had somehow ignited. Whitney looked down at Crash’s fingers pitifully touching hers, trying to encourage her to fight for her life because there was no beauty in her dying that day, and we both knew it.’

If you have not yet shared BLUE WATERS, do read it, but to catch you up –‘Whitney is a vivacious, highly spirited 17-year-old girl. Her motto, “Live life to the fullest,” is derailed when the young man who’s captured her attention turns out to be the son of a the drug tycoon who provided the drugs that killed her brother. Whitney believes she needs to heal from her first heartache, not knowing she is a part of a devious trade— one that violates human rights, and she has been… since the day she was born.’ Now spill into Link’s version of the story summarized by India as, ‘The blue water Whit once loved now looked black because it was claiming her, taking her from me. Whitney Summers is Link’s best friend. He would do anything for her, even sacrifice their friendship to protect her. Whitney believes she understands what is transpiring in her life, but so much stirs beneath the surface. As her closest friend and protector, Link faces the darkness in his own life to guard the girl he loves. This is Link’s story…’

This is very fine writing, mixing mystery, intrigue and love and the advantage of exploring a relationship from both sides – the duplicity of the same story enhanced by separate views – is what infectious literature can do. And does, here. Grady Harp, May 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.