What I’m Reading: The Book of Negroes

What I'm Reading

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Unrolling a map of the world, Aminata Diallo puts one finger on the coast of West Africa and another on London. The first is where she was born in 1745, the second is her location six decades later. Her story is what happened in between, and her remarkable voice is the heart and soul of Hill’s magnificent novel. 

Brought before the British public by the abolitionists to reveal the realities of slavery, she has come, old and weary, to change the tide of history and bear witness to some of the world’s most grievous wrongs. 

Kidnapped and taken from her family as a child, Diallo is forced aboard a ship bound for South Carolina, where she arrives at age 12, weak and ill, the other slaves her only family. But soon she is sold again and begins an exodus that will lead to Canada, where she discovers the same relentless hardship and stinging prejudice. 

Her hunger for freedom drives her back across the Atlantic to England, and in 1792, Aminata undertakes yet another ocean crossing, bound for the place of her birth. 

My Review:
A while ago I tweeted what books I should add to my reading list, and The Book of Negroes was suggested by a couple people. I read the jacket cover online a couple times before, and had always thought it sounded a little too “deep” for me to actually to enjoy. Boy was I wrong!

I REALLY enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down! (Just ask my husband – every spare moment I had I was reading the book!) It took me less than a week to finish, in fact!

This book goes way back to the “beginnings” of the slave trade between Africa, Europe and the United States, and follows a young girl (Aminata) during her capture just outside her village in Africa to South Carolina to New York to Nova Scotia and back to Africa. The story she tells of her life during this time I can only imagine ring very true to the actual events and horrors that occurred during the slave trade. I became emotionally attached to her character and her life events.

I can’t say the events that happened throughout the book shocked me – most of them were no surprise – but it did help drive the issue home. It never fails to amaze me that humans treated each other this way, and that it still does in some shape or form. It angers me to the core when I think about this sort of thing happening, past or present.

I’m going to rate this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

I would give it 5/5, but the only predictable part of the book (for me) was part of the way it ended. (I won’t give it away for those who have read it, but if you want to email me your thoughts, feel free!) I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone willing to sit down for a good, heavy read! You won’t be disappointed!

Questions:
Have you read The Book of Negroes? How did you like it?
Do you get emotionally attached to characters in books?

Also – I just thought I’d point out that today is the start of Black History Month. How fitting that I post this review today! 

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2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Book of Negroes

  1. I really want to read that book! Right now I’m reading a book called Enrique’s Journey which chronicles a young Honduran boys trek up through Central America and Mexico to get to the US to find his mother. It is horribly sad. I recommend, especially if you’re interested in immigration reform, but it’s seriously making my heart heavy each time I read it.

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