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Tidewater

A Novel of Pocahontas and the Jamestown Colony
Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 1607, three ships arrive on the coast of Virginia to establish Jamestown Colony. One girl's life - and the lives of her people - are changed forever.

To Pocahontas and her people, the Tidewater is the rightful home of the Powhatan tribe. To England it is Virginia Territory, fertile with promise, rich with silver and gold. As Jamestown struggles to take root, John Smith knows that the only hope for survival lies with the Powhatan people. He knows, too, that they would rather see the English starve than yield their homeland to invaders. In the midst of this conflict, Pocahontas, the daughter of the great chief, forges an unlikely friendship with Smith. Their bond preserves a wary peace - but control can rest only in one nation's hands. When that peace is broken, Pocahontas must choose between power and servitude - between self and sacrifice - for the sake of her people and her land.

Revised edition: This edition of Tidewater includes editorial revisions.

©2015 Libbie Hawker (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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Profile Image for Lana Lee Plum
  • Lana Lee Plum
  • 17-02-2017

A life of native Americans

This book takes you into the struggle of peoples having their land being stolen from them by invaders from across the sea. This is the story of the girl who tries to understand what is life about and how is her world going to change with the invasion of these strangers. Excellent narration and very enlightening about James Town and John Smith.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • HonkyTonkHero
  • 21-06-2016

Great job at bringing history to life

I just visited Jamestown and was blown away at all the things I did not know or had poor conceptions about. This story coupled with what I learned from my visit there was a perfect match.

on occasion the discriptive rants were a bit excessive for my liking but they probably did a good job at conveying the spiritual nature.

tough times back then. so hard to imagine but this book does a good job at helping you do that.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chrissie
  • 12-09-2015

Cinematic Myth

This book was JUST OK for me. I will explain why. What irritated me may be exactly what you are looking for.

I am rating the written book, not the audiobook version. I detested the audiobook narration. There are three narrators - Scott Merriman, Angela Dawe and Luke Daniels. Each of these read separate chapters. The chapters switch between those seen from the female Native Americans and Pocahontas, the male Native Americans or the British settlers’ views. The three different narrators each took a different group. The setting is the Jamestown Colony in Virginia, the start date 1607. A six month sojourn in London is also covered. The story continues through Pocahontas' death. There is a "historical note" at the end which consists of words from the author, sources and finally information on what happens to the main characters after Pocahontas' death. The last is read by Angela Dawe. She has the largest portion of the narration. The voices further emphasize the cinematic tone of the lines and events. Many people enjoy such dramatization; I do not. Many want to feel they are at a movie. They like sentimentality and melodrama. I can do without both. In my view the words of the female narrator sounded at times cartoonish! Dawe's narration drove me nuts, but I am not letting this reduce my rating of the book. That I am keeping separate. Unfortunately what I disliked about the book was further exaggerated by the narration.

Now what did I think of the book? There is the writing, the lines, how things are described. Libbie Hawker does a marvelous in describing tribal traditions, customs, clothes, hairstyles, dances, rites, foods. I enjoyed tremendously her use of metaphors. She explains how things happened or looked or were experienced by comparing them to animals and scenery and fauna intrinsic to life there in the wild. To give you a feel, here are a few examples:
-metallic like stars in water
-like an osprey diving
-chatted like a blackbird in a marsh
-it was dark and shiny as a blackbird wing
-like an eddy in the river
These metaphors fit perfectly and thus the reader sees the Native American world as they themselves saw it and experienced it. This was cleverly done.

However, I disliked the dialogs and other than those metaphors the lines are ordinary, excessively action-filled, meant to excite or make you feel sentimental. Childish one minute adult the next. Quite simply, the writing on the whole was without nuance. No adverbs, nope not here! Let me add that at the end in the author's so-called "historical notes", Hawker goes on and on about her talent and speed. She wrote 160.000 words in 119 days.......but I am not impressed. I am really not interested in word counts. I don't value speed over quality. What hubris! She brags of her ability to write and self-publish a book without a high school education. Remember the lack of adverbs?! Well, I believe in education. There is a fundamental difference of opinion between the author and me.

I had another major problem. For the most part the author follows historical events....as they are known. For the most part she works within feasible possibilities, and I am fine with that. However the myth that Pocahontas saved John Smith's life in a dramatic scene is today considered just that, myth, not fact. She admits in the "historical notes" that she chose to stick to the myth even though today it is not considered to be true. I would have preferred that she had woven a story around the truth! On completing the book I was compelled to turn to Wiki to separate fact from fiction.

Concerning the division between fact and fiction - Pocahontas was pubescent when the story unfolds. An alternative explanation for her behavior, rather than Disney's famed love story, is offered by the author. I buy this, except that it is exaggerated. Maybe Pocahontas was quite simply a curious, intelligent child that was drawn in by the events rather than trying to gain influence, recognition and power, which she totally lacked due to her common origin. In her tribe, regardless of the fact that her father was the most powerful chief, she had no status since it was matriarchal in structure.

Well, those were the problems I have had with this novel. Now if you love exciting, cinematic, melodramatic writing based mostly on fact, you may just love this.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary V
  • 16-09-2018

Listen to the Audible Version

To get the most out of this book, I recommend you listen to the Audible audio version of the book. The voice actors got the difficult pronunciation of Native names correct. How would I know? I have lived in Virginia all my life, from the Rappahannock River to Roanoke, and the Native names endure to this day as the names of rivers, creeks, cities, counties, streets and more. The author has taken care to be *mostly* historically correct, so do expect the Disney version of the story.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • C. Munroe
  • 25-03-2018

Really good story, tedious metaphor usage.

Author worked too hard in illustrative prosing on, seemingly trying to fill pages. The over description was a distraction from an otherwise interesting story. The author's self praise, in the commentary, was a little too haughty. It cannot be discounted, however, the story does well in a believable account of the Virgina Company's purpose and the native Americans view point. The conflict that may have existed with each was well presented. There is a disappointment, omissions exist by the author's choice, in the interest of a lofty artistic flair. She could have fit story omissions if it we're not for the over description of the smallest detail or feelings choosing decriptors for imagery or setting. Thoughtful editing could have kept some, but eliminated others that distracted from the rhythm of the story.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Wren
  • Wren
  • 19-12-2019

Excellence in Storytelling

While I love this novel and its effort to tell a historical account, the female narrator Angela Dawe was extremely annoying at times. Her dialogue was good but had a strange narration style when introducing scenes - each and every time. The other narrators were very good, particularlyLuke Daniels who performed Opechancanoe's section. The story was well paced and exciting and emotional. A fine book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nancy in North Carolina
  • 25-05-2020

Voices

The story was compelling and the male voices were pleasant and easy to listen to, however; the female voice was irritating and distracting.

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  • Csdean
  • 18-05-2020

Nice to see how accurate the book was

Great book and very well read. The best Pocahontas story I have ever experienced.

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  • C. Collier
  • 10-05-2020

Great story.

I really enjoyed this story. The author did such a great job of telling the story. The only thing I really didn’t care for was the voice of the ones reading it, especially the female. For some reason, their inflections were just way off. It seemed like every single word was emphasized...like you’re supposed to be on the edge of your seat for the entire story. I don’t know, I can’t describe it, but they weren’t good story tellers and it was moderately irritating while listening. Otherwise, the story itself was excellent. I, too, found myself waiting for Pocahontas and John Smith to fall in love. I’m glad it was historically more accurate though.

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  • Tang Soo Do Tee
  • 16-02-2020

gripping story amazing performance

The narrators of this story made me feel as if not only I was reading it but at times I felt like I was actually watching it. The various voice inflections throughout the novel were perfect I felt myself learning the characters and knowing them and wondering what was going to happen next. I didn't want to stop listening this is a beautiful story and I would love to read more or listen to more whichever one you call it.

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Profile Image for George
  • George
  • 11-03-2019

Lisping narration .

What could have been quite a good story was ruined for me by the screeching adenoidal lisping voice of the female narrator , it’s never a good idea to have more than one narrator but to use two out of three with such pronounced lisps brings nothing to anyone’s enjoyment of a good story .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brian
  • 07-10-2016

Riveting book

Libbie Hawker has produced a wonderful story about a pivotal time in the history of the settlement of New England.I liked the structure,using the first person voice for each of the main characters,and using s different actors for the parts.I understand the book was written quickly and I think it reflects a refreshing freshness,without in any way detracting from the quality of the writing.Libbie says she would write a sequel in 2016-let's hope she does as I will be one of the first to read it.

1 person found this helpful