Your audiobook is waiting…

Tidewater

A Novel of Pocahontas and the Jamestown Colony
Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (159 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    88
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    82
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    87
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Horrible un-listenable voice

This may be an excellent story. I will never know because I cannot stand Angela Daws voice. My husband said it sounded like a computer voice which is fairly accurate. It is clipped, fast and off tone. It actually was giving me a headache. The male narrators are fine, but unfortunately Females have a lot to say in this story so we hear often from Angela. Beware. The audio sample does not feature her, at least in the first minute.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Faulty performance, solid story, many metaphors

The male narrators are good, but they're American. No appropriate accent is used for British characters. The woman's narration approaches the worst/ most inappropriate I've ever heard on audible. She reads ~30% faster than the men do, so you will have to change the speed on her chapters if you want consistent cadence. She makes the female characters all sound snotty, preppy and whiny. That's basically the opposite of how I imagine the Native Americans who helped Jamestown colony. It's quite jarring. She's prob great for YA contemporary books, so I feel bad for rating her down here, but it's quite bad.

The writing is really overdone, as other reviewers have noted. I enjoy figurative language and colorful descriptions. The book starts out strong in this regard. But it's done inconsistently and similar metaphors and similies are used repeatedly. There is only so many times I can hear about something sounding like rain or a bird's wings flapping before it's annoying. Some are just awkward, i.e.,, "as still as a deer bemused by torchlight." We've all heard "deer in headlights" but alas, torchlight does not have the same effect, and "bemused" is not the right word. I think the author would be better served by using figurative language in places where it's enjoyable, such as the beginning of a chapter where we want to know about the setting, or the first time we meet a character and want to imagine his/her appearance. Adding figurative language in the middle of direct action or dialogue slows down the storytelling and is awkward. The author also has the habit which I've noticed is common in beginning writers and particularly in recent YA novels that are self published: she uses three adjectives that have similar meanings instead of just one. Ironically, this reduces the impact of the description. The author would benefit dramatically from an editor, even if she still wants to self-publish and just hires a freelance editor.

The book is far, far too long. I say this as someone who loves long books, but this book doesn't NEED this length to tell the story that's here. There are periods where the story is abandoned and we spend entire chapters rowing on a river, for example. The length prevents me from being able to recommend it wholeheartedly among my professional friends. We're all busy attorneys and most aren't willing to spend this much time on this type of story and this level of writing.

1 exceptional aspect of this book is how it handles the topic of menstruation and womanhood. This can be an uncomfortable and negative topic. I thought this was one of the better portrayals of menstruation I've read and how significant it can be in the life of a young girl. [Assuming it's accurate] I really appreciated getting the Native American's perspective.

All that said, I enjoyed this story for what it is: a simple historical account of Jamestown and Pocahontas, with indulgent prose but expert handling of the topic of young womanhood. The author did a great job describing the clothing, food, and setting. The dialogue is also well done in many places, although much of it is unnecessary.

In closing, I think a lot of fans of historical fiction will enjoy this. Libbie Hawker has a bright future as an author, especially if she slows down and tries to bring more awareness and a higher quality to her work. In her author's note and other materials by this author, she brags about her writing speed and word counts, which I found to be off-putting. Maybe she's telling the truth about how many thousands of words she writes in a week or month - I don't know, and don't care. It's too much transparency. I can't speak for all readers, but personally I don't want a cook to tell me how the soup or sausage is made. I dislike most author's notes and find them self-indulgent. I choose a book to read about that particular topic, not the author. Nevertheless, I'd be happy to read other works by Hawker and I hope she keeps writing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply Incredibly Written. Wonderfully Performed.

This book was written by a true master of the form...giving hope to us "commoners" everywhere.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The un-Disney-fied version

I am perhaps fortunate in that I have not seen the Disney movie Pocahontas, but of course, I had heard the stories of her and studied her in elementary school. As I grew older, I learned the truth behind these fairy tale versions of historic America.

This book at least accurately follows the timeline of true events in the early days of Jamestown, and the conflicts with the indigenous people of the area. While it is a work of fiction, the historical references led me into a side research journey of whether certain events took place.

The authors use of tribe names, places, and individuals is prolific, but not confusing. I did not particularly care for the voice of two of the narrators, but they nailed pronouncing multi-syllabic words perfectly.

An excellent book, a brilliant authors note at the end.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pocahontas a renewed version

What and amazing rendition in a novel form.. Libbey had created an interesting version of an old historical story. I didn't want to stop listening and wanted it to go on and on.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for George
  • George
  • 03-11-19

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brian
  • Brian
  • 10-07-16

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 of 1 people found this review helpful