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Someone Knows My Name

Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 18 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,035 ratings)
Regular price: $39.93
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Publisher's Summary

Aminata Diallo is the beguiling heroine of Lawrence Hill's Someone Knows My Name. In it, Hill exquisitely imagines the tale of an 18th-century woman's life, spanning six decades and three continents. The fascinating story that Hill tells is a work of the soul and the imagination. Aminata is a character who will stir listeners, from her kidnapping from Africa through her journeys back and forth across the ocean.

Enslaved on a South Carolina plantation, Aminata works in the indigo fields and as a mid­wife. 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

Critic Reviews

"Stunning, wrenching and inspiring....Hill's book is a harrowing, breathtaking tour de force." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ariela
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
  • 10-14-09

Rich in history and moral messages

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.

32 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Book of Negroes

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.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Book

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.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeri
  • San Diego, CA, USA
  • 03-30-09

My favorite book of the year

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing and Compelling Read

Where does Someone Knows My Name rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is at the top of the list.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aminata Diallo - She was not just a survivor, she was intelligent, vulnerable, and graceful.

Have you listened to any of Adenrele Ojo’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. However, I will be.

If you could rename Someone Knows My Name, what would you call it?

I would not, nor I could not come up with a more fitting name.

Any additional comments?

As a black woman, I had great trepidation in reading this book. Even at my age, and to a degree, somewhat removed from the injustices (and/or repercussions) of slavery, I feel the pain of my parents and ancestors. I still see the damage my parents have endured to make their parents, who have passed on, proud. Their stories (and those as old as my great grandmother, who was born in 1889 and died in 1992) are still vivid in my mind. It sometimes torture my thoughts, knowing what they all endured. As a result of that pain, I attempted to take a more apathetic stance, living my life, and just "staying in the moment"....until now.Bravo Lawrence Hill! You awakened the spirit of the ancestors within me. Although Aminata's life is fictional, the historical accounts were, without question, an accurate (more than likely tame interpretation) of a slave's life, by comparison to an autobiographical version, of someone of similar circumstances. Having said that, I could not put the book down. I had to finish it, as quickly as possible.There is no way to end the story without having a more enlightened view of humanity. I will no longer say "I don't want to know. I don't think I can handle it." Instead, I will constantly remember that no matter what, I will not allow the torture and injustices of my African, and African-American, forefathers' lives to be in vain.I owe it to myself, and my children, to insatiably learn more about my ancestors' past, so that I may more consciously and positively impact their future, as well as anyone else around me. I am foregoing ahead, to learn more and celebrate those who so bravely (absent of choice) paved the road before me.Please read the book. Push through some of the uncomfortable, yet poignantly described details. I am the better for having done so myself.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great great story and the narration is superb!

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Suzn F
  • Fletcher, VT, US
  • 05-23-13

Reminiscent of Roots

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

compelling page turner

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Eye opener

Any additional comments?

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kimm
  • Jacksonville, FL, USA
  • 07-26-10

Rearranging my schedule to listen!

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent reading

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful