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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Book review...a real page turner

Have you read 'The Book of Negroes' ?
From the moment I picked it up I could barely put it down and 
usually it was because it was getting very late and I had stayed up
way too long just wanting to read "one more page".
I love historical fiction and this book is a fascinating, oft times
brutal and sad account of an African woman recalling
her life as a captured slave.
This book is so well written through the eyes of a woman that I had 
to remind myself that it was indeed written by a man.
Lawrence Hill (singer Dan Hill's brother).
So much about this abomidible time in history that I learned
through this book, makes me both ashamed and proud to be human.
Well worth a read.
Here, a description from Amazon...
Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves— Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes.” This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.
Aminata’s eventual return to Sierra Leone—passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America—is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey. Lawrence Hill is a master at transforming the neglected corners of history into brilliant imaginings, as engaging and revealing as only the best historical fiction can be. A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroes introduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex.


Mairéad said...

Thanks for posting this. Another photographer friend living in Canada, met through social media, had recommended this book but I had forgotten its name. Definitely going to look out for it.

acornmoon said...

Your book looks fascinating. We had a series on British TV recently called "The Mill" set in a cotton mill near to my home. The series addressed issues of slavery, both negroe and working class white British mill workers. If you get a chance you should watch it.