The Book of Negroes (released in the U.S. as Someone Knows my Name)
Harper Collins Publishers Oct 15, 2007
This is one of those books that I kept going to on the bookshelves at Chapters. I kept picking it up and wanting to buy it, but for whatever reason I didn't. You know how it is. When I finally did buy it was after about a year after we brought our adopted daughter home from Ethiopia, so the story had even more meaning to me.
This book is one of my all time favourite reads. Written by a Canadian Author and highlighting much of the history of slaves who were sent to Nova Scotia. I have to admit I knew nothing about that history, and I was blown away by the accounts. But let me back track a bit. The story follows a young African girl named Aminata Diallo, a fictional character, but the "face" of many many slaves of all sexes and ages that went through the living hell that was her life after her capture. It was an extremely compelling read that had me, at times, almost in tears at the absolute terror that this young girl must have felt during her captivity. Lawrence Hill is an incredibly gifted writer that, for a man, captured his heroines heart and soul and laid it out on the page. Not knowing any of the history of the journey to Nova Scotia or of Freedomland I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next!
This is a piece of historical fiction that is beautifully written, educational as well as heart wrenching.
It is interesting to note that before the novel was released in the US they had to change the name reportedly because the publishers or distributors down there thought the name might be to inflammatory. But the truth is there really is a record of names of slaves that travelled via ship to Nova Scotia from Africa and it is actually called "The Book of Negroes."
RATING: 4.5 STARS