The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

 

 Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves— Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes.” This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own. Aminata’s eventual return to Sierra Leone—passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America—is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey.
Lawrence Hill is a master at transforming the neglected corners of history into brilliant imaginings, as engaging and revealing as only the best historical fiction can be. A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroes introduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex.
Reading ability: Adult fiction
Genre: Realistic fiction

Theme: Black history; Survival; Slavery; Courage; Determination

Book trailer & Author on-line linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uuoYh-rTZA

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3 Responses to The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

  1. Velma says:

    I really enjoyed this book, have recommended it to a number of people. The Canadian connection was quite interesting, excellent female main character.

  2. Fergie says:

    A great book to follow this with would be The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

    Skeeter is a twenty two year old white female who has just returned home after graduating in 1962. In Mississippi however success is measured, in her mother’s eyes, by a ring on a finger. Skeeter comes home to find that her maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

    This story deals with the lives of several very different women and how friendships are not bound by blood or colour. It was a look at the subject of racism from several different points of view. Well written and insightful.

  3. michaelismarlene says:

    This book was a fantastic read. It held my interest throughout and was an incredibly moving story.

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