Sunday, August 3, 2008

"The Book of Negroes" Lawrence Hill

The Plot: This book follows the life of Aminata Diallo, an African stolen from her homeland to become a slave in North Carolina. Aminata eventually manages to break free from slavery to become self-sufficent in unwelcoming Nova Scotia, later tries to live in Sierra Leone and finally ends up in London. This is her tale of slavery, freedom, trials, tribulation, and triumph. It is her story of love and loss, finding, losing, and finding again.

The Good: "The Book of Negroes" was a beautiful, sad yet heartwarming story. I read it as part of the Savvy Summer Reading Challenge as issued by Harper-Collins and I'm so glad that I had the chance to. I have to admit that I generally don't gravitate towards this type of novel as a rule, I generally read "lighter" (but not too light!) literature, but the "Book of Negroes" taught me so much about things that I haven't really considered. It showed me a different side of the history of slavery, and it made me look at slavery as a different way. It's not that I didn't already think that slavery was a horrible thing, but because I didn't exactly take the time to consider it because it wasn't something that affected me directly. I learned about it in history, but this book put a human face on the facts. I was forced to see slavery in a different light, and I am very thankful for that opportunity.

The Bad: There really was no bad about this book. It was skillfully and beautifully written and well worth the read. Historically accurate for the most part without bogging the reader down with too many facts.

For more on this novel:

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