This slowly building novel avoids stereotype, offering a captivating narrative with nuanced perceptions of death, love, and cathartic self-discovery.
[T]he treasures at the heart of this story are Khosi’s relationships—with her sister, whom she would do anything to protect; and with the ancestors, whose interference in her life is at times helpful, at times exasperating.
—The Horn Book
Powers’ story is engaging. The depiction of life in Imbali is raw and honest, the struggles of the characters elicit sympathy, and Khosi’s questions about what she’s meant to do in life will ring familiar with young adult readers.
—Florence Simmons, Booklist
For young adult readers, this is a book that will not sugar coat and will provoke thoughtful conversation about many difficult topics.
Khosi’s transformation from sheltered township girl to sangoma is an extraordinary testament to strength, courage, and faith. Readers will find her self-respect refreshing and courtship with Sifiso supportive and nurturing at a natural pace. VERDICT All readers will easily root for Khosi, who makes a way out of loss with love and faith; a strong choice for teen libraries.
—Donald Peebles, School Library Journal
A moving story, impossible to forget or put aside.
—Barbara Moon, Reading Style
A sequel to Powers’ award-winning This Thing Called the Future, Under Water picks up 3 years later. When her beloved grandmother dies, 17-year-old Khosi must learn to survive on her own. She has to take care of her little sister Zi, make a living as a traditional healer, and somehow try, despite everything, to finish school. When her beloved Imbali—an urban township in South Africa—flares up in violence, Khosi finds herself at the center of the storm.
A taxi war threatens the safety of every person in Imbali, including Khosi’s best friend and boyfriend Little Man. A murdered man is dumped on her doorstep. And accusations of witchcraft swirl around her, despite her every effort to keep her healing practice aboveboard. When Little Man chooses the wrong path, Khosi finds herself caught up in a new romance. But her past just might catch up to her.