Saturday, January 29, 2022

Audio Review: Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill,

Based on a true story, "The Book of Negroes" tells the story of Aminata, a young girl abducted from her village in Mali aged 11 in 1755, and who, after a deathly journey on a slave ship where she witnesses the brutal repression of a slave revolt, is sold to a plantation owner in South Carolina, who rapes her. 

She is brought to New York, where she escapes her owner, and finds herself helping the British by recording all the freed slaves on the British side in the Revolutionary War in The Book of Negroes (a real historical document that can be found today at the National Archives at Kew).Aminata is sent to Nova Scotia to start a new life, but finds more hostility, oppression and tragedy. 

Separated from her one true love, and suffering the unimaginable loss of both her children who are taken away from her, she eventually joins a group of freed slaves on a harrowing odyssey back to Africa, and ends up in London as a living icon for Wilberforce and the other Abolitionists. "The Book of Negroes" is a page turning narrative that manages to use Aminata's heart-rending personal story to bring to life a harrowing chapter in our history. 

Audiobook, 15 hours, 46 minutes
Narrator: Adenrele Ojo 
Published 2007 by Books on Tape
4/5 stars

I am so glad that I went the audio route with this book.  It is such a captivating story that I would have struggled to read it when I could listen doing chores and such.

This book isn't for the faint of heart, it is a gritty and heartbreaking story.  The narrator, Adenrele Ojo did a great job of bringing this book to life. I was put in the various locations and felt a whole range of emotions.  She couldn't have done that without an intricately written story that spans years and settings.  

Beginning in 1755, Aminata's village is set upon changing the direction of her young life.  Forced to grow up before her time she endures so much through the years.  The author doesn't hold back with vivid descriptions of this heart wretching time in history. Coming in at almost 500 pages the reader witnesses her life as she travels across countries ending up in London.  It's been a year since I listening to this book, parts have stayed with me.

This is my first Lawrence Hill book by another Canadian author, I will definitely be on the lookout for more.

This book is part of my audiobook library from Audible.

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