A clear narrative voice is equally at home with the book’s country folks and city people. Great historical and regional details come in, including of vehicles, clothing, and preelectric housekeeping ... The dam’s holdups raise the stakes of the story, and waiting to learn the characters’ fates, which are wrapped up in the success of the project, makes this historical tale gripping.
Electricity comes to rural Tennessee in Barr’s impressive debut novel ... Beautifully written, with deeply sympathetic characters and a richly described Tennessee landscape, Watershed brings a unique chapter in American history to vivid life through the eyes of two people working hard to find their place in the story.