The Old Man And The Sea Narrative Point Of View Review: Athol Dickson’s River Rising

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Review: Athol Dickson’s River Rising

Author: Athol Dickson

ISBN: 076420162X

The year is 1927 during the great Mississippi flood in which Athol Dickson’s latest novel, River Rising, takes place. Pastor Hale Poser arrives early one morning, loading a pirogue in the village of Pilotville, Louisiana. The recent discovery of a manila envelope in the attic of an old house full of sleeping children was the spark that ignited a trip to Pilotville in search of her parents or their tombstone. Poser had to cleanse himself of the unknown pain.

Poser gets a job as a supervisor in the Pilotville Negro Infirmary earning forty-five cents a day. The infirmary was built in 1894 as a gift to the community by a well-known wealthy white man, Vincent (Papa) DeGroot, who also happens to be the main boss of the community. Poser is also informed that the situation in the far south is different, as “an island of equality in a sea of ​​discrimination, a place where a Negro can look a white man in the eye. the richest man in the parish, Father got what the Pope wanted. However , as we learn, the ideal world of Pilotville that should be non-segregated, where whites mix with blacks, then nothing is what it seems.

In his first days after arriving, Poser causes a stir when he comes to the rescue of Rosa Lamont, who needs surgery and is about to give birth. Poser takes the place of a drunken white doctor, because he performs what is called a miracle that mother and child survive without surgery. However, the next day, baby Hannah disappears from her bed and the search team is scheduled to be called off due to their lack of success.

This does not prevent the determined Poser and James Lamont, the father of the child Hannah, to continue the search, each preparing his own methods. What worries Poser is that he learned this is not the first child abducted in years – he has never been found. In the end, the search leads Poser to find a hideous slave prison where “a lot of Negroes, bent over, pulling bags, picking quickly, voices rising together in unison.” Poser enters the camp and becomes one of its slaves, something unheard of before, as no one has ever voluntarily entered a place like hell.

The book is well written, the characters are vivid and sympathetic, and Dickson’s stories are very interesting, as he creates his story without any limitations. However, while I do not doubt Dickson’s commitment to the Christian faith, I found that from time to time he allowed the subject matter to get bogged down and get off track with his presentation. Even so, the book grows on you as you ponder the many questions the author raises throughout the story about slavery, dual nature, religious deception, prayer, does God hear, why people are evil and many of the “big” questions we face. we often ask ourselves.

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