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

Children of the Waters

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  254 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
The author of the #1 Denver Post bestseller and Essence Book Club Pick Orange Mint and Honey explores the connection between love and race, and what it really means to be a family.
Trish Taylor’s white ancestry never got in the way of her love for her black ex-husband, or their mixed race son, Will. But when Trish’s marriage ends, she returns to her family’s Denver, Colorad
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by One World/Ballantine (first published June 17th 2009)
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 Children of the Waters, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Children of the Waters

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 12, 2008 Carleen marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
An excerpt is available at
Feb 04, 2010 OOSA rated it it was amazing
Foreseeable Future,

Trish Taylor has been finding puzzle pieces every place she goes. She'd like to believe it was a coincidence, but the fact that her grandmother loved to work puzzles has her wondering if maybe Nana is trying to connect with her from beyond the grave. Still settling back into Colorado, her hometown, after a divorce with a teenage son, Will, a house full of dogs and a job she loves working for people she hates, Trish is more than certain her imagination has gotten away from her.
Antigo Martin-Delaney
Sep 02, 2012 Antigo Martin-Delaney rated it really liked it
Recently finished reading this book for an upcoming bookclub meeting. I found her treatment of race, family and relationships interesting but somewhat flawed. I wish there was more exploration of the male, female relationships that underlined much of what took place in the story. it also gave a simplistic look at relationships between individuals who are adopted and their families (adopted and birth). But these are not the things that kept me from giving this book 5 stars. It was Brice's resolut ...more
Kimberly Hicks
Mar 27, 2013 Kimberly Hicks rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Kimberly by: Goodreads
What a compelling story! I love Carleen Brice for her colorful way of writing makes me feel. She knows how to tell a great story and make you become one with her characters.

Billie Cousins knew there was something missing from her life. For as long as she could remember, there was always something "different" from her that stood out from the rest of her family.

It wasn't until her mother received an unknown visitor who turns the Cousin family upside down. But what this "visitor" held was the key
Beth Anne
May 02, 2011 Beth Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: amy, mom,'s a sweet and complex story that they'd all enjoy.

i really loved this book....probably because at the bottom of it all, the story was about family. and it seemed like a real family. the characters, the conversations, the situations...were so honest and unpretentious and raw.

the struggles of both trish and billie were expertly showcased...and it doesn't matter what color or race you are...if you read this book, you'll honestly feel the hurt that both characters have gone through. you empathize with each and every character, genuinely care
Sep 17, 2014 Potassium rated it liked it
Shelves: sisters
The story of two half sisters, where one is white and the other is half black and half white. The biracial sister got put up for adoption as a kid because her grandparents didn't want to raise a brown kid. Now the sisters are in their 30s and they have just met.....

I think I liked this better than Orange Mint and Honey but I just couldn't help feeling that these characters could have been more "real." Instead they seemed a little stereotype-y to me. Anyway, it was also interesting to read from t
Carleen Brice's sophomore novel weighs in with a stronger, more confident voice--she's certainly come into her own. "Children of the Waters" tells the story of two Denver women whose lives are woven together by secrets, lies and racism from years ago that are now shaping their futures. Religion, racial issues, relationships and
parenting styles all come into sharp focus as the characters learn to deal with their changing, and mingling, lives.
Sep 09, 2011 Melanee rated it it was ok
Just finished reading "Orange Mint and Honey" and can say that I enjoyed that story better than this. Didn't really care about or for any of the characters and that's not usually Brice's style.
May 15, 2014 Deon rated it liked it
Very slow start
Feb 05, 2010 Ari rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Children of the Waters is an amazing read. Carleen Brice is unafraid to talk about tough subjects through her characters. The dialouge never feels forced, the conversations are genuine ones that people have with one another. The author does an excellent job in maintaing a neutral stance, Trish and Billie feel so differently about some things; faith, race and even family. But the author doesn't belittle either one of them, each of them is a strong, lovable and valid character. I especially admire ...more
Sep 05, 2013 Mel rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2009 AuthorsOnTourLive! rated it it was amazing
We met Carleen Brice when she visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. You can listen to her talk about "Children of the Waters" here:

About this podcast:
Colorado author and former Tattered Cover staff member Carleen Brice was recently named 2008 “Breakout Author of the Year” by The African American Literary Awards Show for her debut novel "Orange Mint and Honey," which was also a selection of the Essence Book Club. Brice reads from and discusses her
Aug 09, 2013 Ginger rated it really liked it
I previously read Orange Mint & Honey by Carleen Brice so I thought I would try her second book. I think I liked it more! Carleen Brice is a Denver author and sets her books in Denver so it's fun to know exactly where she is referencing. This book is about a troubled young woman that we don't really get to know. She has one child Trish and leaves Trish with her parents to raise. She then comes home pregnant again - this time by a black man. She dies from a heroin overdose. The grandparents f ...more
Jan 03, 2012 Robin rated it it was amazing
This is the second Brice book that I've read, and I must say that I love her writing and how she develops her characters. They are people that I seem to know. I also connect with the spiritual elements of this story, especially as it relates to emotional healing. The correlations in the names Wilhemina, Billie and Will are striking. The way she uses Nana to play a role in her healing is phenomenal!

Brice's story is a great one -- not just because of the story line; not just because of the charact
Wilhelmina Jenkins
Aug 07, 2009 Wilhelmina Jenkins rated it it was amazing
I loved Carleen Brice's first novel, Orange Mint and Honey , so I was a little afraid that her second novel might not be as rewarding a read. I shouldn't have worried. Brice has written another book that accomplishes several important goals: it is accessible and enjoyable for a broad reading audience, it tells a great story, it is beautifully written, and it provides much food for thought. I read it straight through - couldn't put it down. Another winner.
Mar 02, 2013 Karla rated it liked it
I thought the characters of Billie and Trisha were well-drawn. You could find yourself sympathizing with their situations and getting frustrated when they were too pig-headed to see their own shortcomings. I did wonder about their respective birth fathers. Neither woman seemed to dwell on that missing piece of their family puzzle. It stood out since fatherhood was such an integral part of the story.
Shelley Shockley
Wow! Brice takes the subject of separated at birth to a whole new level. Again, her characters are written so vividly and her use of description and dialogue truly draws the reader into the story. As you read Children of the Waters you become a member of the family, or a close personal friend rooting for a good resolution.
The story lines are neatly packaged and work so well together! This is a must read.
Nov 14, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it
Carleen Brice sensitively captures the complexity and ambivalence of two sisters' relationship. Trish, the white mother of a biracial son, learns that she has a younger sister whom her grandparents had told her was dead; Billie, also biracial, was given up for adoption because the grandparents did not want to "raise a black man's child" after their daughter, mother to both Trish and Billie, was killed in an automobile accident. Ms. Brice, a Denver native, sets the story in her hometown.
Dec 22, 2009 Jenny added it
I received this book as a Goodreads' giveway. I was really excited about reading this novel, but was disappointed with the strong language contained therein. I find the f-word offensive and could not get past chapter 4, because of the peppered profanity. I will put this book on, where several requests await. :-(
Therese Walsh
Jul 03, 2009 Therese Walsh rated it it was amazing
Children of the Waters was not only well written, it was illuminating. I see Children of the Waters as full-bodied “Issues Fiction,” with authentic discussions about interracial relationships, and similarities and differences that go beyond skin color-including the inner workings of family, the effect of long-buried secrets, and the importance of acceptance and reconciliation. Bravo!
Dec 27, 2013 Jo rated it really liked it
An addictive, compelling read. There are some flaws (mostly the author's simplicity in resolving some situations) but they are overcome by the unique and important subject matter itself. In this day and age, we need more books like this that explore interracial relationships of all kinds. Enjoy the modern day setting as well.
Nov 08, 2009 Anna rated it it was amazing
I loved this - thought it might even be better than Oranges... I'm so impressed with how Carleen Brice tackles such tough subjects and shines fresh light on old problems - and all while writing a great great story and fabulous characters. The only thing I felt was that the back cover copy gave too much of the story away and I would advise my friends not to read it.
Dec 29, 2009 Amy rated it liked it
I'm torn about this book. While the story sucked me in and I had to finish it, I didn't love it. The ending tied all the loose strings a little too neatly, and it came way too quickly.

The other problem I had came from the way the author dealt with race, which was a major theme of the book. I forget that some people still think in terms of color.
Mar 19, 2011 Peggy rated it it was amazing
We have another one of Carleen's books on our list for book club (Orange Mint & Honey), and we are trying to contact her to visit our group. This book was very good: I think she touched on a very real subject that we may not know who all of our 'family' are, but she did not pursue that vein of discussion. Her acknowledging it was profound to me. I thought she wrote a very good book.
Good Book Fairy
Dec 26, 2010 Good Book Fairy rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had a great plot and good characters. i picked this up on a whim 'cause i had to buy a book on a recent visit to the Tattered Cover in Denver and ended up picking up a winner!
Jacqueline Luckett
Nov 14, 2011 Jacqueline Luckett rated it really liked it
An exploration of race, what it means to be black and white, and unconditional love. The story holds tension, but most of all the author created characters that were well-rounded and with whom the reader feels completely connected. I cheered for everybody and in the end, they all won.
Sep 15, 2010 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
I LOVED this book. Two women, two sisters, separated by the death of a mother and the prejudice of their white grandparents. One of the sisters is white, and the other is half African American. It was really very lovely in many ways.
Jan 04, 2010 Shauna rated it it was amazing
Contemporary fiction—two sisters who had not known of each other's existence reconnect and struggle to forge a connection. My favorite part was its accurate, matter-of-fact, nonsentimental portrayal of living with a chronic illness.
May 19, 2010 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
I really liked this book. I cried a few times, and called my family right after to tell them how much I loved them. This was a warm, delicate exploration of what it means to be a family, in the broadest sense of the word. I thought it was beautiful.
Sep 14, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it
This story intrigued me from the very beginning. As I read it, I really got ingrossed in it. However, the 'f' word was a bit distracting as the author used it a lot. The characters seemed very real; just as though I knew somebody like that. A really good read!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • If Sons, Then Heirs
  • Before I Forget
  • They Tell Me of a Home
  • Third Girl from the Left
  • A Taste of Honey: Stories
  • Shifting Through Neutral
  • South by Southeast (Tennyson Hardwick, #4)
  • My Name is Butterfly
  • Going Down South
  • Time of the Locust
  • Substitute Me
  • Leaving Atlanta
  • Life Is Short But Wide
  • Hunting in Harlem
  • The Stalker Chronicles
  • Fish and Grits
  • Daughter
  • Till You Hear from Me (West End, #4)
My debut novel Orange Mint and Honey aired on Lifetime as the NAACP Image Award-winning movie "Sins of the Mother" starring Jill Scott and Nicole Beharie. The novel won awards from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and from the African American Literary Awards Show.

Of Orange Mint and Honey, Alicia Keys said, "“This is the reason I love to read. This book has so much character an
More about Carleen Brice...

Share This Book