To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
4.0 out of 5 starsHigh Value Literature
Reviewed in the United States on October 25, 2013
After powering through the first chapters to find peace with the old attitudes and old language (the N Word, manumit, dropsy, negress, mulatto) and roll into the flow of the story through the context of history, this book becomes a high value and educational story. Delightful old talk, like "It's city life that learns you, an' I'd a-loved it!" It is extremely well written, fully using the language of the time to bring forth a rare, uncleansed and honest insight of this period of American society. It is interesting that, as the more open-minded characters muse about the righteousness of owning people, they never thought to PAY them, at least. A very good read for those that appreciate historical fiction and would be a great assignment for a literature or linguistics class.
Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2010
I live in Winchester and recently began reading Willa Cather's books because she was born here. Her most beautiful writing appears in "My Antonia," but I loved "Sapphira and the Slave Girl" too, for taking me back 150 years to the way life was in my area. Cather lived that life, and although her books are fiction, she, like many authors, includes bits of her own life and experiences in her writing. I could follow her up to Timber Ridge, down to Winchester, and was so absorbed in her writing that I felt I'd stepped back in time and was watching her beautifully painted scenes and hearing her realistically-written dialog for myself. I don't read much fiction about the midwest (where most of the rest of her books take place), but I have read all of her midwestern books. They are worth it!
5.0 out of 5 starsWilla Cather is a brilliant storyteller, and this story takes place in the ...
Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2017
This was a gift for my mother. I had read it in the recent past. Willa Cather is a brilliant storyteller, and this story takes place in the West, the other side of the Mississippi It is a great historical read.
4.0 out of 5 starsGenerates Thoughtful Contemplation
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2003
As I was reading this book (which is thought provoking) I also was thinking thoughts similar to the previous reviewer, i.e., would the black people in the book really think this way in real life; (Example, some of the slaves would talk about the other slaves calling them "no count niggers". One of the slaves was offered freedom and a job in Pennsylvania but turned it down saying he wanted to stay where he was). I assume there were all kinds. All kinds of slave owners and all kinds of slaves. Perhaps some of what the author writes was true for some people but not true for others. I really find it interesting that The "Master" (Mr. Henry Colbert) and his daughter (Mrs. Blake) would go to such trouble to make sure that Nancy (the slave girl) did not come to any sexual harm by Mr. Colbert's nephew Martin. Would this have really happened or would, in most cases, people in their position have turned a blind eye? Would a slave actually have felt comfortable going to a white person about this trouble? I found it a bit hard to digest that the slaves were so ultimately loyal and simple and that the slave owners were to some extent so lenient. Was this a truthful depiction based on some facts the author uncovered or were theses all-false assumptions that she accepted as truth? Of course I am reading this with all of the influences of a 2003 consciousness. I think this book is perhaps showing a side to slavery that maybe did exist, just perhaps not on a widespread basis. I would hope the author did some type of research to substantiate what she wrote. It does make one contemplate... Review written by a black person.
i love willa cather. i read her when i was a teenager and am rereading her now that i'm old; and this edition is the exact one from my mother's bookshelves, so i really enjoyed holding it and reading it. also, it came in a timely fashion. concerning cather, my first love is "my antonia", but this and "death comes for the archbishop" come a close second. teresa
5.0 out of 5 starsA story fairly and sensitivey told...
Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2014
Excellent--point of view of the conscientious slave-holder, torn by Abolitionist leanings even while holding slaves--after Civil War time, shows a bit of what freed slaves and slave owners went through--sensitively and fairly dealt with
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2020
I thought this was a strange book. It just went on to the end and then stopped without every really shedding any light on how any of the characters felt or why they acted, or had acted, as they did. I kept waiting for more insights into them, but they never happened. Actually by the end you didn't even know what happened to most of the characters either. I liked the writing style, and the description of the benign slavery involved together with how it was still tainting the lives of everyone involved in it was really well thought out. Apart from that, not much to recommend it.
I found this book very slow moving and difficult to focus on. There was no real climax, just a slow plodding story. It was very heavy on describing a scene and very light on story. Did not hold my attention.