The impact slavery has had on mankind is something so controversial that many have trouble understanding it. Slavery isn’t the issue, the people are the issue. Slavery is merely an idea that we, the people, have carried out into a real life thing. This book is able to make me feel emotionally and physically connected.
Continue reading for the review.
This book dives straight into slavery as if it were a swimming pool. It reveals how it twists peoples lives and ruins them, wether they know it or not. This book begins in the late 18th century in an Asante Village which will soon be located in Ghana. A young girl named Effia Otcher, is sold by her father to a British slavetrader named James. The thing is, Effia wasn’t sold as a slave, but she was sold as a bride. She would grow up and wouldn’t have a choice whether or not to marry James. She would just have to marry him. That may sound horrible, but it’s not as horrible as Esi Asare’s life. Esi is Effia’s half sister who is a slave. She was seized in a raid on her village and was brought to James as a slave this time, not a bride. This novel did a beautiful job of explaining the slave trade and paints a picture of life in Ghana at that time. We are able to see slavery through the generations and how slavery eventually ends up in the US and how it shapes Ghana. As an American, I felt like I was un aware of how huge of an effect we have on our neighbors. (Boy, do I sound American). This book changed the way I think, which is a great characteristic for a book to have.
I am pleasantly surprised on how rich and full the characters are. While I was reading, I began to see a protagonist and an antagonist in the story. To me, Esi was the protagonist because I began to care deeply about her because of her horrible sufferings, and I began to become very curious about learning more about her complexity. Whenever I saw Esi’s name on the page ahead of time, my face would light up with excitement for a split second. James was the obvious antagonist. This book proves how white men are the devil. Especially white men like James. However, I was feeling like Effia was an antagonist too, only because I felt some odd and unexpected feelings of jealousy towards her. Even though she was sold by her father, I felt like she was the father’s favorite. I understand that her life is horrible too, but when comparing her life to Esi’s, it’s not as horrible as it sounds. I absolutely love the way the characters were built. There was so much detail but not too much so that there was still room for me to infer and to be curious about.
This book is a tremendous read and I recommend it to anyone. I am generally impressed by the magnitude of the novel’s ambition and how much research went into this book, being able to truly make me feel like I was truly a part in the book. How the author managed to create such a rich and flowing book, cover so much history, and tell such a complex, but compelling story in only 300 pages, I do not know. This is bay far, one of the best debut novels I have read in this year.
Warning: During or after reading, your heart may implode with the amount of sadness and emotional feelings that will be heart-wrenching, hammering, and drilling in this novel. Prepare yourselves.
pic credits to this awesome blog, Muse Monthly