By Athol Dickson
River Rising is a superb novel by Athol Dickson, a writer in Dallas, Texas, and the brother of our own Garrett Dickson. This is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time. It is a thrilling adventure and at the same time it challenges us to live out our faith in Christ.
Imagine this scene: It is 1927 in the swamps of the Mississippi River between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. One day, out of the mist, a stranger appears in the town of Pilotsville, a town built on stilts and boardwalks because of the swampy waters. This stranger, Hale Poser, is looking for work. It turns out later that he had been orphaned and thinks that his roots are in this small town. He takes a job at the local hospital, established for African-Americans, but it becomes clear that he has a strong connection with God. And miracles tend to happen when he prays.
Not long after he begins working, a little baby is stolen and Hale Poser joins the search party in the swampy waters around the town. After Hale Poser does more digging, it turns out that other babies over the years had been taken. This leads Hale Poser on a search deep into the swampy waters of the Mississippi River before it hits the Gulf. He gets lost and stumbles, exhausted and near death, onto a slave colony, even in 1927. This remote outpost land had been reclaimed from the swamps and large levies built around it. Slaves were held and worked there. River Rising is the saga of what happens when Hale Poser is made a slave and later God uses in some remarkable ways.
This is a superb novel! You will find it hard to put down. It will grab you by the throat.