The Book of Negroes Hardcover – 2 Jan 2009
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A colossal achievement...heartrending yet inspiring. -- Independent on Sunday
Epic...a compelling tale well told...an important story to tell. -- Times Literary Supplement
Hill's novel is a beautiful, compelling artifice, spun from unspeakably savage facts...a fiction that faces the terrible truth about slavery. -- The Times
Richly meticulous...succeeds admirably in giving voice to a captive people who were for so long kept mute. -- Stephen Amidon, Sunday Times
[Hill] has an easy style and a fine sense of pace that make this a gripping, if horrifying story. -- Financial Times
Richly meticulous...succeeds admirably in giving voice to a captive people who were for so long kept mute.See all Product description
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The reader knows, by reading the jacket, what this book is about, and it does not disappoint.
While it gives a fictional account of one woman's survival as a slave, from her home in Africa as a child, through America, back to Africa and then to England, it makes it easy for the reader to imagine the lives of the real slaves and what they had to endure. Not just the physical brutality but the emotional and mental torment inflicted upon these people who are first stolen from their homes by their own race, and then kept enslaved by white masters from a country and culture totally alien to their own. To keep them 'in their place' they are often separated from husbands and other family members (if they have been able to stay with them thus far), but the worst act by far of these slave owners is the removal of children from their mothers. How many adults are there in the world today whose grandmother or great-grandmother had her baby wrenched away from her. The tragedy has reached down through generation after generation.
Like me, you may think you know a lot about this subject, but I still found a couple of things to surprise me, most especially the role of the British in the so-called 'repatriation' of thousands of slaves. It's a part of British history that deserves to be taught in schools.
Very well written. I give it the highest recommendation.