"Gathering of Waters" by Bernice L. McFadden

In 1955, young Emmett Till was murdered in Money, Mississippi for whistling at a white woman.  Tass Hilson was young and had just made known her love for Emmett when the events that led to his brutal murder took place.  The two experienced one kiss only to have him taken away hours later.  To escape these haunting memories, she marries and relocates to Detroit.  But forty years later, she returns to Money where she is reunited with Emmett in spirit form and at last the two lovers can be together.

It is the town of Money, Mississippi that is the narrator of Bernice McFadden's Gathering of Waters, a mystical and magical tale of life and death and the ghosts of the past.

This novel combines history with fantasy as it shares the stories of the families of Money and the threads that tied them together throughout the decades.  In this novel, the ghosts have their stories heard and a voice is given to the soul of the town.  It is a unique and intricate spin on the historical narratives that are so ingrained in our minds, even if we didn't experience them firsthand.

This book is story-telling at its finest.  It's powerful, honest and full of spirit and soul.  It begins years before Emmett arrives in Money but shows the common ties that run through a town, the way lives are interconnected and the way spirits continue to have influence long after the bodies have left the world.  This book will give your imagination a run with its heartbreaking imagery and beautiful words.

I must admit that I was unsure in the beginning whether I would like this book given the fantasy tone of the novel.  But it was just such a unique take, being narrated by the town, that I couldn't help but be drawn in.  Even though I read this book weeks ago, it has still stuck with me for its stand-out story-telling.  It was difficult to put down as I found myself engrossed in that magical place between the living and dead, bodies and spirits.  It's a well-crafted story that will have you spellbound right to the end.


  1. The publisher sent me this novel and I haven't gotten to it yet. I am going to have to find the time. I have heard nothing but great things.


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