Trouble the Water

A Novel

Abigail Milton was born into the British middle class, but her family has landed in unthinkable debt. To ease their burdens, Abby’s parents send her to America to live off the charity of their old friend, Douglas Elling. When she arrives in Charleston at the age of seventeen, Abigail discovers that the man her parents raved about is a disagreeable widower who wants little to do with her. To her relief, he relegates her care to a governess, leaving her to settle into his enormous estate with little interference. But just as she begins to grow comfortable in her new life, she overhears her benefactor planning the escape of a local slave—and suddenly, everything she thought she knew about Douglas Elling is turned on its head.

Abby’s attempts to learn more about Douglas and his involvement in abolition initiate a circuitous dance of secrets and trust. As Abby and Douglas each attempt to manage their complicated interior lives, readers can’t help but hope that their meandering will lead them straight to each other. Set against the vivid backdrop of Charleston twenty years before the Civil War, Trouble the Water is a captivating tale replete with authentic details about Charleston’s aristocratic planter class, American slavery, and the Underground Railroad.

Author: Jacqueline Friedland

Publication Date: May 8, 2018

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Description

“With compelling characters, a charming peek into Charleston society, a heart-racing romance, rich historical detail, and an epilogue that will have you holding your breath, Friedland has written a well-crafted novel that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.”
—Susie Orman Schnall, award-winning author of The Subway Girls, The Balance Project, and On Grace

“Friedland is a modern Bronte sister remixed with Kathleen Grissom or Leila Meacham. Trouble the Water is the riveting story of Abby, who travels across the sea, fleeing Liverpool, poverty, and unsavory uncle, for Charleston, where a wealthy friend of her father, Douglas, lives. Douglas has pledged himself to the fight to end slavery, and for that, he has made the ultimate sacrifice. Abby fights inner demons and tries to find her place in Charleston high society while her brooding guardian reconciles the past and returns to his beloved cause. Lovers of Civil War-era historical fiction will rejoice at Friedland’s triumphant novel of love, friendship, and the most important issues of the day.”
—Bethany Ball, author of What to do About the Solomons

“The complicated history of the antebellum South comes alive in Friedland’s debut novel and offers readers an exciting and fast-paced literary journey that explores complicated relationships, the importance of friendship, and the necessary power of love.”
—Kris Radish, best-selling author of A Dangerous Woman From Nowhere

“With a plucky heroine, a dashing hero, and the backdrop of the clandestine abolition movement in the antebellum South, Jacqueline Friedland masterfully weaves a tale full of passion and honor, duty and survival, evil and the beauty of basic human decency. Trouble the Water will make your heart pound and swell, and keep you reading well into the night. Highly recommended!”
—Loretta Nyhan, author of I’ll Be Seeing You, All the Good Parts, and Digging In

About the Author

Jacqueline Friedland holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from NYU Law School. She practiced as an attorney in New York before returning to school to receive her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in New York with her husband, four children, and a tiny dog. This is her first novel.

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