Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Book of Negros

As I am not quite finished this fantastic book, this is not my official review of my 11th read for the Challenge, however I couldn't wait to post something. While it is difficult to compare books that are as different as apples and oranges, I have to say that The Book of Negros by Burlington, Ontario native Lawrence Hill is probably leading the pack for me of the 3 books I have read so far in CBC's Canada Reads 2009 selections. The others may surprise me, but I think this one probably has a very good shot at winning. This historical fictional story is intensely detailed in its description of Aminata's journey from her village of Bayo to the coast of Africa, the Carolinas in the US, New York, Nova Scotia and back to Africa again where she is in my current spot in the book. It is as if Aminata wrote it herself as a true account of her life story. I have not read background on how Hill conducted his research to produce this story but it is more real and alive than I could have imagined anyone could write that had not experienced it themselves which says much of the talent of the author. I will save more for my official review. While I could devour the rest of this book tonight, I want to savour the last few pages in the journey of a remarkable woman who likely existed at least in part in many of the people who were taken from their villages, and forced into a life of slavery - that is if they even made it across the sea with the terrible conditions on the slave ships. An appropriate read as the United States inaugurates its first African-American President - President Barack Hussein Obama - as the world watched with great hope and inspiration for all of our futures.

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