Author: Lawrence Hill
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Ailantus (Dutch edition)
Release date: 2007, Dutch edition 2011
Length: 433 pages (Dutch edition)
I got this book: I won it in a giveaway from the publisher Ailantus
"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."
This book is such a strong tale about the history of slavery. It is fiction but it rests strongly on historical facts, only moderated to make it a whole. Aminata is such a strong personality and the horrors she has to survive are heartbreaking. As with many historical books, I know most of the origins through the history lessons I had at school. But I find it much more shocking to actually read this book than learning the dry facts. It makes much more impact this way, at least that is what the book did to me. I feel that this would be a good book to read for history in high school since Aminata gives a strong voice to the slaves from those days without making it a boring ordeal to read through. I am sure that she will stay with me for a while and it surely made an impression on me. I originally gave this book 4 stars when I finished it, but since it makes such a lasting impression, I just have to adjust my first opinion and give it full marks.
Purchase links: Ailantus, The Book Depository
Other reviews: Leeswammes
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