“Someone bound my wrists behind my back and slipped a leather noose around my neck, which he tightened just to the point of cutting off my breath so I couldn’t scream and could barely breathe. Gagging, I waved wildly at the men. The noose was loosened enough to let me breathe. I was still alive. Allahu Akbar, I said. I hoped that someone would hear the words in Arabic and realize the mistake. But nobody heard me. Or cared.”
Kidnapped off the coast of Africa in 1745, and sold to a South Carolina island plantation, Aminata Diallo is a literate young black woman, who tells her life story in this wonderful novel by Lawrence Hill. There are many works of slavery-based historical fiction out there, but few are as well researched or have such a unique story to tell. I consider myself pretty well-read on the subject, but Hill taught me much about life on an Indigo plantation, how Jews were treated in the South during the 18th century, the Book of Negroes and the plight of Black Loyalists who were promised much by the crown, and delivered little.
This was absolutely one of my favorite books of the year!
4 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2007