|Print List Price:||$14.99|
Save $12.00 (80%)
Living Half Free Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Books with Buzz
Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, "Exit West" tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time. See more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Top Customer Reviews
Over time, he earns his freedom and meets a young Indian woman, Lillian, and the two fall in love. Able to pass himself off as white, he's able to live with Lillian on the reservation, until the arrival of the sadistic son of his second master uncovers his identity. Zachariah then learns that prejudice runs just as deep among the Indians as the whites and is forced to accept being put back into slavery to save Lillian from the tribe's harsh punishment. Lillian uses her wiles to free him once again, and the two of them flee to California where the prejudice is less.
As you follow Zachariah through his life, beginning in Strasburg, Virginia in 1838, to San Francisco in 1867, you will be alternately moved and repulsed; moved at how his strong faith helps him survive the severest of conditions, and repulsed at the depths of depravity to which some people can sink in their treatment of others.
This is a great story, only a bit in parts by what is difficult for even the most experienced writers - dialect that sometimes doesn't ring quite true. Dialect, when written, depends on the reader's pronunciation to be rendered, and having grown up in the South in the 50s and 60s, when some people still spoke much like they did during the 19th century, as well as being a writer and teacher of English, I found some of the words and sentences a bit difficult to comprehend, and not like I recall old people of my childhood talking. The author can be forgiven, though; this is one of the most difficult skills to master, and some of us never truly get it. Once you get past these few glitches, though, you'll find this a good read, for a first timer who I predict will get better with time.
For me, reading a story written 'in dialect' is always difficult, sometimes too difficult to continue. In this case, I understand Whitehall's reasoning for attempting to write the conversations in the manner of antebellum slaves, but the translation into print slows and confuses the reading process greatly.
The story itself is very easy to 'get into' and is interesting and suspenseful. I would have liked more historical information - more 'scene setting'.
It is the first half of the nineteenth century. Zachariah is a slave first in Virginia with his family, then Kentucky after he is sold. He promises himself that one day he will be free, and then he will buy freedom for his sister and mother.
He has many experiences over the years, and the reader is clearly shown the wretchedness of the slave's life.
In this story, we see how few choices Zach has in his life. We cringe at how he's forced to live, at the abuse he suffers. And all along we root for him to get and hold onto freedom and happiness, though we know it's unlikely he'll ever have either for very long. His light skin and light hair allows him some freedom, but in the old days, even one drop of negro blood made a man a slave. And sadly, a slave Zachariah will always be. But to whom is the question?
I think the book is aptly named. Zach will ever be half free as he's forced to straddle two worlds - the white world and the black world - and try to remain the master of his soul.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Family Saga
- Books > Literature & Fiction > United States > African American > Historical
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Sagas
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > United States > African American > Historical