I picked Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin because of how much I enjoyed Until We Reach Home. It wasn’t as good. Though Waters Roar is the story of 4 generations of women in times of upheaval and change in America. Hannah lives on a farm and is part of the underground railroad. Beatrice, Hannah’s daughter, works hard for prohibiton. Lucy, Beatrice’s daughter, uses her high society connections to help get votes for women. Harriet, Lucy’s daughter, wants to embrace a cause, but hasn’t found her own yet.
There is a lot of political talk, class differences, and arrests. The underlying theme of relying on God is enforced by Beatrice. I like her message at the very end of the book: “We can make stricter laws, Harriet, but people will just figure out a way around them if their hearts are hardened. … Only God can change people.”
The story is told through Lucy remembering stories she’s been told. During the times she’s remembering the voice is switched to the woman the memory is about. It was not as confusing as it sounds; I just don’t care for books that constantly switch back and forth.
Here is the backcover copy:
“Thank goodness you’re such a plain child. You’ll have to rely on your wits.”
So went the words of Grandma Bebe. And for all of my growing-up years, I scoffed at the beauty of my sister and what I saw as her meaningless existence. But my wits hadn’t served me well in this instance, for here I was, in jail. And while I could have seen it as carrying on the family tradition (for Grandma Bebe landed in jail for her support of Prohibition), the truth is, my reasons for being here would probably break her heart.
So how did I end up becoming a criminal? I’ve been pondering that question all night. Perhaps the best way to search for an answer is to start at the very beginning.
Harriet Sherwood has always adored her grandmother. But when Harriet decides to follow in her footsteps to fight for social justice, she certainly never expected her efforts to land her in jail. Nor did she expect her childhood enemy and notorious school bully, Tommy O’Reilly, to be the arresting officer.
Languishing in a jail cell, Harriet has plenty of time to sift through the memories of the three generations of women who have preceded her. As each story emerges, the strength of her family–and their deep faith in the God of justice and righteousness–brings Harriet to the discovery of her own goals and motives for pursuing them.
To read the first chapter visit Where The Story Begins. To find out more visit Lynn Austin’s site or Bethany House.