Not the Same Water

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
425 Pages
Reviewed on 07/11/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Not the Same Water by Karen Black is a beautiful, bittersweet romance set in the 1890s in the American West. Becky Russell is a young woman training to be a clothing designer in Red Wing, Minnesota, on the shores of the Mississippi River. When she and her friends ride a paddle steamer upriver to view a military display at the nearby National Guard camp, little does she realize her life will change forever. When the steamer founders during the return trip to Red Wing, Becky’s life is saved by a dashing young Army Lieutenant, Bill Cravats. As Becky and Bill slowly fall in love, events move to separate them. Becky’s close call with death solidifies her true passion for becoming a doctor, and even more unlikely, for the time, a trauma surgeon, a profession unheard of for women. When Bill is posted to Pine Ridge in South Dakota to help quell a native uprising, the pair are separated, but not before they become engaged. The story follows Bill’s harrowing experiences at the Battle of Wounded Knee and the Battle of Bloody Pocket as the U.S. Army ruthlessly puts down the uprising. Meanwhile, Becky manages to find a medical school that will accept her and begins the torturous and challenging task of learning medicine and enduring the disdain and bullying of many of her male classmates and professors. Given the obstacles thrown in their path, will these two young lovers ever find their way back to each other?

Not the Same Water is a fun read, full of twists and turns that keep the reader engaged and even gasping at times. Author Karen Black has created two wonderful characters, Bill and Becky, to carry her tale of prejudice, injustice, and downright unfairness toward both women and Native Americans at the time. I particularly appreciated Becky’s character as a woman able to retain her innate femininity but still aggressive and brave enough to challenge the status quo. Her valedictorian address at her graduation was as inspiring and beautiful to readers as I’m sure it was to the listeners in her story. The plotting is clever and intricate. Although I’m confident the main surprise in the narrative will be evident, the author kept us guessing for a long enough time to make us wonder if we’d got it right. I loved that the story was used to tell the events of Wounded Knee and Bloody Pocket from the Native American perspective. The use of Joseph’s character to soften and understand better the attitude of the Native Americans to the intrusion of the white man was an inspired choicer. I learned a lot about the period and the locale from this story, and for me, a wonderful love story that educates is one to be lauded. This story does the job perfectly, and the author deserves the plaudits. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year; believe me, I read a lot. I can highly recommend this book.