My Water Path by Timothy Joseph is a story of an era of madness in America, told from the point of view of Jory Sheppard, a white orphan, who, while running away to keep from being put in a foster home, gets caught in a storm on the Mississippi River that drives him into the arms and home of a kindly black man, Moses Kent, who teaches him about life.
Joseph paints a starkly realistic picture of life in Mississippi during the time leading up to and during the Civil Rights era, not in terms of headline-making events, but in how ordinary people coped with those events. With the exception of one or two characters that might seem a bit one-dimensional – they’re actually very realistic, but unless you lived through that era it will be hard to believe – he takes us under the skin of the characters and into their hearts and minds.
I received a free review copy of this gritty novel, and found that once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down until I was done. A well-written piece of fictional history of an all-too real time in American social history.