I have long been a student of slavery and the Civil War. My personal library overflows with slave narratives and historical books on slavery, as well as historical fiction of that sad era in American history.
Kathleen Grissom brings to life her story of a young indentured servant who is orphaned on a ship bringing her family from Ireland. The loving and intimate relationships between the seven year old child and the African slaves who care for her on the 1780's era Virginia plantation are wonderful. These are exactly the kind of deep friendships I have had with women of color throughout my life.
The novel reminds us of the evils of slavery, particularly the vulnerable position of young women at the hands of white masters and overseers. The painful separations of parents and children are recounted here, as well as the belief among many slaveholders that their "property" was sub-human and without feelings.
The narrators were right on target with both the Irish accent of the heroine, the speech of the slaves, and the accents of the Virginians in the big house. My family is from Virginia and I heard my grandfather as I listened to the narration. This book went far too quickly.
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