Sunday, June 12, 2011
The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill
Author: Lawrence Hill
Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
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. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I hadn't expected for a book that was so dense to be such a page turner. I found it to be very eloquent and spoke to the true nature of the slave trade that existed over two hundred years ago. The words seemed to melt into my soul like a plate of really good food. I think what was fascinating about the book is that the main character seemed to avoid death, but never seemed to avoid tragedy. An excellent read.
7028 / 15000 pages. 47% done!