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Dominion

A Novel
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
Length: 14 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Dominion tells the story of the Merian family who, at the close of the seventeenth century, settle in the wilderness of the Carolinas. Jasper is the patriarch, freed from bondage, who manages against all odds to build a thriving estate with his new wife and two sons - one enslaved, the other free. For one hundred years, the Merian family struggles against the natural (and occasionally supernatural) world, colonial politics, the injustices of slavery, the Revolutionary War and questions of fidelity and the heart. Footed in both myth and modernity, Calvin Baker crafts a rich, intricate and moving novel, with meditations on God, responsibility, and familial legacies. While masterfully incorporating elements of the world’s oldest and greatest stories, the end result is a bold contemplation of the origins of America.

©2006 Calvin Baker. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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An Amazing Span of Time!

This is my first real long length audible book experience. As well as I’ve not ever read this kind of historical fiction that dealt with African-Americans in quite this way over a span of several decades. I have read the THE THIRD LIFE OF GRANGE COPELAND ( my favorite Alice Walker novel) and ALL of Toni Morrison’s books and Zora N. Hurston’s books, DOMINION is quite different from those books. I felt compelled to listen and know about each character as well as I was not drawn into judging the decisions that each character made knowing the kinds of challenges that they faced as Black people in America at that time. I loved the symbolism and the suggestion of the ghost OLD LOWE and what it could have represented. I loved the dignity that each character possessed. I did have some issues on how one of the characters died. As I think on that death, while I didn’t like it, I understand why it’s a part of this story. I tried to understand that period of time a little better through what was introduced to me in scenes that I don’t read about often. I felt the horrors of slavery and war without it being overwhelming. As well as how this family had so much strength to rise above both slavery and war on such a variety of levels, even though these characters were not without often incredible faults. Maybe the author was trying to let the readers know that observance of these many aspects of humankind must be respected regardless of where they’re from and how they got there. While this is a book filled with detail around just what was going on in terms of the scenery around untamed wilderness, farming, raising cattle, the building of homes from scratch, lawlessness and what ALL that’s involved with this period of time, some may find the book slow moving. However I felt that the author wanted you to experience the fact that compared to today, things not only moved extremely slow, but those with great direction in their lives worked with purpose, real goals and perseverance. The observation on how personal relationships came to be, was also quite fascinating. The author really examines intimacy from a historical perspective that is so revealing and honest.

I can’t imagine the research that went into this. This is my second Calvin Baker novel. The first book of his that I read was GRACE. In both of these books, he deals with the issue of race from a perspective that makes you often ignore it, because it’s only mentioned every now and then. While I’m not sure how realistic that is, I like how he challenges us to think that way. It’s like he is trying to look at the definition of DOMINION and GRACE and the complexities involved in such words and how it applies to humankind AS A WHOLE and not just based on the color of ones skin or culture. These days, it’s important that we are reminded of this every minute of the day, every day!