Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Freshwater Road” as Want to Read:
Freshwater Road
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Freshwater Road

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  806 ratings  ·  112 reviews
When University of Michigan sophomore Celeste Tyree travels to Mississippi to volunteer her efforts in Freedom Summer, she's assigned to help register voters in the small town of Pineyville, a place best known for a notorious lynching that occurred only a few years earlier. As the long, hot summer unfolds, Celeste befriends several members of the community, but there are a ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Gallery Books (first published 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Freshwater Road, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Freshwater Road

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Help by Kathryn StockettThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Best Southern Literature
280th out of 847 books — 2,110 voters
Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge DanticatThe Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel WilkersonThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot DíazAll Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. JonesErasure by Percival Everett
Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Winners
13th out of 40 books — 10 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,544)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jenee Rager
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I did not realize how dangerous the Civil Rights Movement was in Mississippi... this book has opened my eyes to the depth and widespread racism that lay inherent in the South during the 60's - far more intense than history books ever painted it in my mind. Great read.
This is a wondul historic fiction novel about, Celeste Tyree, an idealistic University of Michigan African American student, who takes the summer off and heads to Mississippi to work for the voting rights of the black population there. Set in the early 60's, the novel is the story of the voter rights movement and the violence and cruelty that the black people in the south endured until they earned the right to vote.

Celeste goes to Pineyville, Mississippi, where she runs the One Man, One Vote off
I coincidentally read this book at the same time the movie "The Butler" (which I saw) came out in the theater, and while I found it at times to be wordy, lengthy and a bit too descriptive, I did enjoy the story of Celeste Tyree (if enjoy is the correct word to be used when reading about the Freedom Project). Page after page I felt tired, sore, rundown, hot and sticky along with Celeste, and the author did a very good job describing the events that took place in two summer months. This is a good ...more
Celeste Tyree has led a somewhat privileged life. Having grown up in Detroit she is now a sophomore at the University of Michigan. The daughter of a prominent business owner, she has never experienced the hard life that some young black people have. Celeste thinks she knows what life is all about. But it is the summer of 1964 and the situation in Mississippi has begun to heat up. The Summer of Freedom draws Celeste to the small Mississippi town of Pineyville.

With orientation in Jackson, Celeste

As far as content, this book was a great read. I could actually visualize how things were in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement. I could imagine the fear of the black people and when Sissy died, i felt it in my heart. However, this book was not an easy read. I can read books usually within a day or two. It took me a week to read this book.
It is the Freedom Summer of 1964. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner have gone missing. Celeste Tyree, a black student at Michigan who grew up in Detroit has gone to be a voting rights volunteer in Mississippi at the urgings of her white boyfriend, J.D.

The novel takes us inside the realities of Sixties racism in Mississippi. The town to which Celeste is assigned has had a lynching within the last five years. While training in Jackson, she is harassed while distributing leaflets
Dori Kalish
The Mississippi part of the story really gave me a sense of how terrifying it was to just exist in the state in 1964. And as dangerous as almost any normal activity was for black Mississippians, how incredibly dangerous as well as difficult it was to register to vote. But, I think the author tried to put in too much about the heroine's (Celeste) family issues, and too much of how she wanted to go back home. I understand that is a plot device so that when Celeste wants to stay we feel how Mississ ...more
Very good book. I was engulfed in the anguish of the civil rights movement. I liked the perspectives it gave - a little different from some other books I've read of that era.

Once again, I'm overwhelmed with the anger and hatred humans are capable of inflicting on others.
Mayssa Taha
It was an interesting story but It felt like it took forever to read. The writing was beautiful but almost TOO pretty.There were alot of pages that were describing thins I didn't feel were important. All in all the story was great. Just expected MORE
This is an awesome book! The first novel by Denise Nicholas (of Room 222 fame) tells the story of the fight to get African American voting rights in early 1960s Mississippi. The story is so well written and compelling that it was hard for me to put down.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the plus side, I learned about a piece of the Civil Rights Movement that I hadn't known much about. But I kept being pulled out of that sense of being there by extraneous subplots that didn't have the same power or interest. Why discuss our heroine's past boyfriend and abortion? Why the plot line about her mother? Why the new boyfriend? Why the constant switching back and forth from Mississippi to the father in Detroit? What was the purpose of Sissy's ch ...more
Toledo (T.J.)
I really enjoyed the perspective this book brought to the Voting Rights time in the South. Gentle, thoughtful touches were scattered throughout.
Wanted to read this b/c it was a novelization of the Civil Rights Movement, particularly the summer of '64. Celeste leaves urban Michigan (born in Detroit and college in Ann Arbor) for rural Mississippi where she is the only CR worker in a small town. She worries she's engaging this work to remove the taint of her white boyfriend from her life. She runs a freedom school at the local church, and spends evenings teaching voter registration classes. In the end, some people from the town do get to v ...more
The eye opener in this book was learning about the obstacles that were put before the black people in order to "qualify" in order to vote! not only the fear of violence but the reading test that had to be passed in order to vote, I venture a guess that there were plenty of white people who wouldn't be able to pass the test either but weren't required to take the same test! a lot of strong people had to face some horrible things to endure and stand up for their rights and pave the way for change. ...more
A novel of the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi by Denise Nicholas.
Celeste Tyree leaves her comfortable home in Ann Arbor to travel to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 to participate in a voter registration project as a part of "Freedom Summer." Pineyville Mississippi is a whole world away from the comfortable home Celeste grew up in. Celeste must learn to deal with the realities of poverty in rural Mississippi while also dealing with her own issues with race and her own family.

Denise Nich
Katrina Burchett
It was the summer of 1964- Freedom Summer. Nineteen-year-old Celeste Tyree traveled to Jackson, Mississippi to teach Negroes in Freedom School and to help with voter registration. She was assigned to work in Pineyville, Mississippi. As she rode with one of the other volunteers on her way to this small town, she began to think that the civil rights movement she chose to become a part of wasn’t what she had expected – young students, Negro and white, risking their lives for what was right - but sh ...more
Freshwater Road is based on the voting rights drives of the 1960s. This one takes place in 1964 in Mississippi. The main character is a college student from Detroit who decides to go down to Mississippi to help out. The story is mostly about her interactions with both Whites and Blacks in a small town.

The book depicts this era very well. The despair, defeat, and hope come through in each of the characters. The characters and the plot could have been ripped from the pages of history books for man
Kasa Cotugno
In 1964 Denise Nicholas, while still a student, went to Mississippi as a volunteer for the One Man One Vote Movement. Over 40 years later, she used her experiences as a springboard for the events in this absorbing novel. I started reading it out of respect for the author who I met on a train earlier this year, but found myself caught up in the propellant plot and the gorgeous prose. Her literary style is vibrant with the history she experienced firsthand. Thanks to her clarity, humor and compass ...more
It has been a long time since I've felt as emotionally attached to a novel as I have to Freshwater Road. I laughed and cried right along with Celeste and the other characters, and felt anger at their treatment by Sheriff Trotter in Mississippi, and the overall treatment of African Americans in the south during this time. I've read a lot of books on Freedom Summer, from both sides (being a history major I like to get both sides of the story even when I'm leaning towards one side or the other) but ...more
Sheila Gloekler
This is a marvelous book about a young, black college student from Detroit who volunteers in Mississippi to get Negroes registered to vote during what's was known as "Freedom Summer" in the 1960's civil rights movement era. She's sent to a very small town called Pineyville, which has already seen one killing of a black person due to racial issues. Even though the central character is black, she was raised in an upper middle-class environment in Detroit and has to adjust to living as the natives ...more
I liked reading about this time in history and the young civill rights workers who went south to get southern blacks registered to vote. Something I didn't know much about. I lied the story. I thought the writing was at times beautiful and at other times a bit sophomoric. Overall a good read.
You know when you first get a Kindle and you go a little crazy buying cheap books because it's so darn easy? Well, this was one of the first Kindle books I bought just for those reasons -- cheap and easy (and it had good ratings and sounded like a good story). When I finally got around to reading it, I wasn't expecting much. But I was pleasantly surprised. There are a lot of loose ends at the end of the book, but I didn't feel like it needed to have every sub-plot wrapped up. I liked Nicholas's ...more
Life is too short to read boring books, and unfortunately, this is one of them. Too long, too many thin subplots, too much reflection, and not enough meat to the story. The premise had the potential of being thought-provoking and emotional, but just came across as flat.
Jul 14, 2014 Judith rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: only a very desperate reader.
Recommended to Judith by: C-Span Book TV
Slow...felt to me like it was written for junior high school readers. I got through 115 pages and couldn't do anymore of the uninspiring plot. The book might be the author's first publication or she needs a good proofreader, someone with literary experience.

Regarding Miss'ssippi…the sentiments of folk-singer Phil Oakes are my sentiments. This is an outstanding novel…highly recommended to everyone, especially those who were born after 1975—it's chock-full of the flavors of the times…

Cathy Contino
I felt this was well written. Not a book I was able to rush through quickly. The author made me feel how hot it was in Mississippi in the summer of 1964 when Celeste went there to help register black people to vote. She had a culture shock going from a life of relative ease to abject poverty. No running water. Outhouses. She gives classes at the church in the morning called freedom school to the children and in the evening, to the adults to teach them the Mississippi law so they can pass the tes ...more
Sylvia Martinez
Freshwater Road was written about a time of change. I was excited to read this book. I love Historical and fictional books. It was about a young girl named Celeste. A naive young girl with idealistic dreams in making her mark in the world. Little did she realize how dangerous her summer trip to Mississippi was going to be. I have to admit I liked the book, but it was long. I think I expected more from the book. It would have been nice to have had a little more about the movement and the reason f ...more
Linda Appelbaum
This was a powerful historical novel about working to register black voters in Mississippi in 1964- where I am happy to say I have never lived. What a deplorable place to have lived if you were black in the early 60s.Blacks had to cross the street when approaching a white on the sidewalk. If a child died, there was no ivestigation. The blacks had no doctors, dentists and were beaten, raped, killed without any punishment to a white.I can't imagine how they survived in Mississippi. Other southern ...more
Pam Page
I really enjoyed this book. I am surprised I never heard more about it. It was written in 2005. It's about a young female college student in Detroit who goes for the summer to Mississippi to register black folks to vote. She is connected with an organization there which is responsible for sending volunteers out to live in different towns for the summer with the purpose of helping the unregistered voters become familiar with the voting test they will be required to take before they vote then gong ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 84 85 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis
  • Going Down South: A Novel
  • Spirited Away (Spirited Away, #1)
  • Blue Hole Back Home
  • Face the Winter Naked
  • A Death on the Wolf
  • A Storm Hits Valparaiso
  • The Twelfth Child (Serendipity #1)
  • The Red Cotton Fields
  • While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Governor's Sons
  • Harlem Redux
  • The Loom
  • The Butterfly Legacy
  • Wading Home
  • Far Horizons (The Emigrants Trilogy, #1)
  • A Child al Confino: A True Story of Escape in War-Time Italy
  • Small Kindnesses
Denise Nicholas is an American actress, writer, and social activist who was involved in the American Civil Rights Movement. She is known primarily for her role as high school guidance counselor Liz McIntyre on the ABC comedy-drama series Room 222, and for her role as Councilwoman Harriet DeLong on the NBC/CBS drama series In the Heat of the Night.

For further information:
More about Denise Nicholas...
Blue Collar Blues

Share This Book

“tree with a tall thin glass of minted ice tea and a” 0 likes
More quotes…