Thursday, May 26, 2011
New York Times Literary Treat of the Week..
Parker, Michael. The Watery Part of the World. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
The life and career of Aaron Burr has long been a fertile subject for writers of both history and historical fiction. This attempt at the latter focuses on Burr’s daughter, Theodosia and the mystery around her real life disappearance in January 1813. Married to the governor of South Carolina, Parker imagines that while sailing to be reunited with her father and aid in restoring his soiled reputation, Theodosia’s ship is attacked by pirates. When the captain considers her insane, Theodosia is stranded on one of the islands which comprise the Outer Banks off the North Carolina coast. Tended to by a hermit named Whaley, Theodosia begins a new existence in that remote region. The tale segues to 1970 and the last descendants of Theodosia and Whaley who speak a dialect so rare in a nearly 200-year-old America. This section is based on actual research done decades ago with tape recorders, a format Parker weaves into this part of the novel.
For more about Aaron Burr, Merrick Library has the following books:
Kennedy, Roger G. Burr, Hamilton And Jefferson: A Study In Character.
Fleming, Thomas J. Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr And The Future Of America.
Vail, Philip. The Great American Rascal: The Turbulent Life Of Aaron Burr.
Larson, Edward J. A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election Of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign.
Reviewed by Librarian, Bob.