Most helpful positive review
302 of 309 people found the following review helpful
As told by herself
on 4 March 2011
Although Linda has been treated fairly well, she is still a slave and as such suffers from the degradations and deprivations that all slaves suffered in the southern states of America during the eighteen hundreds. Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl tells of Linda's struggles and triumphs over her `condition' in her own words, spanning several decades....
Although I love to read this isn't a book that I would have really bought for myself, I much prefer science fiction or horror to biographies. But as the Kindle edition was free to download and I have the Kindle for Android app on my phone I decided to give it a go and found it was quite a revelation. Although the book is in no way graphic, we are left in doubt as to how difficult and humiliating life is for a young woman growing up as the property of another man. As the book progressed, I really found myself sympathising with Linda and rooting for her in her quest for freedom for both herself and her children.
In the main part the language used is easy to read and the conversational style almost makes it feel as if we're sitting next to Linda as she tells us her story. There are a few points in the book where she uses patois, which I found a little harder to follow, and there are also points where the 'N' word is used. Thinking long and hard about it, the fact that this book is a slave girl telling us this story, means that this language is exactly how she would have spoken, and to remove those words because we now find them offensive would have been in fact offensive to her memory. Throughout the whole book you really do get to understand Linda's motivations and empathise with her, as she recounts both her own and the stories of those around her with just the right level detail. Her love and respect for her Grandmother really did show through as did her fear of disappointing those who had given up so much for her.
Due to the subject matter there are obviously some very emotional points in the book, there were a couple of chapters that brought tears to my eyes and the ending was a true depiction of triumph over adversity. Although there are no graphic descriptions of the treatment that Linda and other slaves received, nothing is glossed over. So it's easy to picture the fear that countless thousands of men, women and children lived in and how hard life must have been for them. But this isn't just the story of a slave, it's the story of a grand-daughter, mother, and indeed a whole country.
Unlike other books that I have read that cover the subject of slavery, there's no glossing over of the North's involvement in the vile trade. By the last page we are left in no doubt of the North's complicity in returning those slaves who have escaped persecution back to their masters. All in all this book gives a fascinating insight into the life of slaves, in particular females slaves, their hopes and fears and the attitudes of those around them, all from the view point of a very brave woman, who was willing to lay her life down to secure freedom for herself and her children. While I wouldn't particularly recommend this to the youngest of teenagers, I do think it's a worthwhile read for anyone aged fifteen and up. And I feel this book would probably be of far more interest to female readers than male, only because it is the story of a very strong, inspirational woman. As far as stars out of five go, I've no hesitation in giving Incidents From The Life Of A Slave Girl, five out of five, and there's no doubt that I will at some point be reading it again, as well as encouraging friends and family to give it a try.