Enslaved on a South Carolina plantation, Aminata works in the indigo fields and as a midÂwife. When she is bought by an entrepreneur from Charleston, she is torn from friends and family. The chaos of the Revolutionary War allows her to escape.
In British-held Manhattan, she helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for wartime service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. During her travels in Canada, Sierra Leone, and England, Aminata strives for her freedom and that of her people - even when it comes at a price.
In this captivating novel, Hill portrays one woman's remarkable spirit and strength in the face of adversity, and he brings to life crucial and little-known chapters in world history.
©2007 Lawrence Hill; (P)2007 Books on Tape
"Stunning, wrenching and inspiring....Hill's book is a harrowing, breathtaking tour de force." (Publishers Weekly)
Aminata Diallo was a survivor. As I read through this book, I could not help notice how similar in character and circumstance the survivors of the slave trade had with the survivors of the holocaust. Being the daughter of holocaust survivors and hearing one horror story after the next, the story of Aminata had a familiar ring to it. Her abduction from her African village as a child, enduring the tortures of her march to the ship, the panic of the unknown, the branding, the living conditions these people were forced to endure, the loss of dignity, of family, dehumanizing of spirit and soul, and the strong instinct to survive. Aminata had the qualities, circumstance and luck needed to get through each step of her calamitous life. She was a woman of strength and intelligence with incredible hope who would do whatever she had to in order to move on. Through her journey of being sold as a slave to a detestable owner on an indigo plantation, to her reselling to another man, Solomon Lindo. Her journey takes her from Africa to South Carolina to New York (Canvas town) where she took part in the documentation of The Book of Negroes, writing down names and descriptions of black loyalists who served the British. She eventually journeys to Nova Scotia, then Sierra Leone (Freetown) and finally ends her journey in England where the abolitionists ask her to write her story and that is where the story starts and ends. Lawrence Hill writes a fiction tale rich in historical facts. This book was a real education and eye opener. It really made me think how far we have come to have an African-American president today, and how far we still have to go in the name of freedom and respect for all mankind.
My friend in Toronto told me I must read this book. So, I looked for the title it goes by in Canada, The Book of Negroes. I couldn't find it at first and then as I was about to order it from a Canadian bookseller, I noticed that the cover was the same as a book here called Someone Knows My Name.
My detective work finished, I can now say that this book is as good as my friend said, even better. The reader follows Aminata Diallo from her kidnapping in Africa, at age eleven, to her enslavement in South Carolina, then on to New York, Nova Scotia, and eventually London. The narrator, Adenrele Ojo, is fabulous and truly brings the story to life.
I looked at this book for months and am so glad I finally got it. As an avid reader of both fiction and non fiction works about slavery and slave life, I must say this is one of my all time favorites. Great story, character development, and flow. The narrarator is dynamic. She really brings you into the story. When I finished it, I had my husband take a listen and he was also thrilled. This one will defintely be a keeper. I may actually get the physical copy.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
I loved this book.It reminds me of the wonderful book "Roots". However I especially liked that this book was written from a woman's point of view, thus giving the reader another perspective of the horrors the African slaves endured in both Africa and in America.
This story gave us an insight into this amazing woman's life story, told so well by Mr. Hill and Adenrele Ojo. Great team! This book is unforgettable, wonderful and yet so difficult to listen to.... so very very horrible, human's ability to cause another such pain in so many ways.
Loved this story about a young girl taken from Africa into slavery and her journey through life. It is a great history lesson and will make you ashamed to hear how the blacks were treated during this time. I especially adored the reader, like a young Maya Angelou. Captivating story and beautifully written.
I loved this book and plan to add it to my library. I don't know why I never heard of this book, but I plan to tell everyone about it. It answered a lot of questions I have had about the history of my people and the History of slavery in the USA as well as England. So many things I never knew and was at no time taught in school. Really wish it would have remained named The Book of Negroes. As that is the original title. While listening to this book even my fiance who is African had to put his beloved television to rest and sit and listen to this book with me while I sipped on my tea with honey.
If you have a pulse you must read this book.
This is a very moving novel in the first person. It is narrated quite well. It has been an eye opening experience. I have enjoyed every minute of it.
Really enjoyed this. Story is long but it doesnt seem like it. If you enjoy history and a good story intertwined with it, this one is for you.
I've only finished the 1st section and I must postpone my appointments today - mesmerizing, insightful along with sadly real events of our past. A must read/listen for all.
Full of historical details and information, this book was not only educational but enjoyable.
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