“Shallow Waters” is an unpretentious account, a mix of fantasy and historical fiction. It is the tale of imaginary beings, but also a story with a complex message. Yemaya is a Mer being, mermaid if you will, and she tells her story in a first person present tense narrative as she journeys through time. It begins as she hatches from a cocoon, shedding her previous form, and becoming a woman. Readers then go back to the beginning of her journey, the encounter that changed the direction of her life, meeting Obatala. Every story transitions to yet another story. Escape brings danger; danger brings opportunity, and opportunity brings change as Yemaya moves from the peril of pirates in the Caribbean to the trauma that is The South in pre – Civil War United States, and finally on to the promise of freedom in The North.
“Shallow Waters” is engaging and thought provoking. It is quick to read and compels one to read it again. I received a review copy of “Shallow Waters” from Anita Kopacz, Atria/Black Privilege Publishing, and Simon & Schuster. Yemaya’s story unfolds with both simplicity and complexity. There are lessons from history that have applications for today.
“It’s not always wise to be the largest tree. We must know how to bend and compromise, like the willow, or else we will go down with the storm.”