Enter your mobile number 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $4.53 (28%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
A Million Nightingales has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: BRAND NEW BOOK. Unread, with minor shelf/travel wear. Guaranteed Shipping & World Class Customer Support! May have publisher mark.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A Million Nightingales Paperback – May 8, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.42
$2.94 $0.01

Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
$11.42 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • A Million Nightingales
  • +
  • Highwire Moon: A Novel
Total price: $27.23
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in Southern plantations and bayous during the years just following the Louisiana Purchase, Straight's impressionistic character study effectively evokes the conflicted mélange of races, nationalities and cultures that defined the early 19th-century territory. The novel spans the life of Moinette, a "mulatresse," beginning with the events that wrench her from her mother at age 14, to her final days in her 40s. Moinette's first young mistress, Cephaline, exposes her to book learning, and Moinette struggles to negotiate the contradictions between the language of science and her mother's belief in traditional Senegalese spirits, a dichotomy that haunts her throughout her life. After Cephaline's premature death, Moinette, light-skinned and beautiful, is sold upriver and separated from her beloved mother. She repeatedly suffers sexual assault and must use her wits to protect herself, and later her son and daughters. While Straight (Highwire Moon) vividly depicts the danger and degradation black women faced, she also makes feminist comparisons between Moinette's enslavement and the situations of her wealthy white mistresses. However, the terms of Moinette's very sophisticated understanding of what's happening to her seem anachronistic, and the success she achieves, combined with the handy coincidences that lead to it, although tempered with tragedy, are too convenient to be entirely convincing. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Straight, whose sixth novel explores family bonds, slavery, and freedom in a dark period of American history, elicited almost universal praise. Moinette, an intelligent, moving narrative presence who navigates through—even exploits—slavery's constraints, charmed critics. Straight's evocative language also impressed them, as did the depth of her historical research—from boot blacking to gory scenes of murdered runaway slaves. (A glossary of Creole and French terms helps.) Only the Los Angeles Times felt that Straight's historical novel was, first and foremost, a polished literary exercise. (The critic suggested reading more "honest historical melodrama" like Gone With the Wind). Despite this minor criticism, A Million Nightingales is an affecting, powerful story.<BR>Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140009559X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400095599
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If the language of pain is universal, Susan Straight is an inspired translator. In luminous prose, A Million Nightingales is a revelation of style and acuity of vision, the characters multidimensional, human, flawed, fragile and brave, the novel following the dangerous path of a beautiful fourteen-year old slave, Moinette, a petite mulatresse, through the treacherous world of early 19th century Louisiana. Like all slaves, Moinette's fate is, indeed in the hands of others. Recently acquired from the French, Louisiana is a strange mix of race and regulations, the French Slave Code of 1724 made more restrictive by the Americans in 1806. Innocent of such realities as a girl, Moinette is sheltered in the slave quarters, her mother instilling caution in her child, exercising her own, watching over her daughter at night: "Lie down make me too rested. Lie down mean I can't watch." Following her mother's example, Moinette's language is spare: "A hard knot blocked my throat. Like a pecan lodged there, where the words should come out." Yet these precious words bring Moinette comfort, as she turns them over in her mind like prayers.

Sold without warning, Moinette is carried to a plantation far from her mother, fearing she will never see her again. Their lives unbearable, some slaves dare to run, easily recovered with the aid of slave-catchers and rewards, dealt with severely: "Chiens de negre, chiens de renard. Dogs for blacks, dogs for fox." For Moinette, the years pass slowly, assaulted at every turn in a society that views her as property, her one chance at love lost because she cannot bear to leave her small son behind.
Read more ›
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I have not read a book this profoundly moving in a long, long time. I read books all the time--good books, bad books, mediocre books, books my friends have written--and with each book I read, my heart yearns for something that is as exquisitely written as A Million Nightingales. Every book Susan Straight has written has been thoughtfully, creatively rendered. I have read and loved all of them. But this one, by far, will be placed on my list of favorite books of all time. The words of the text sing like a lyrical psalm of outcry to god for the grief of children, for the grief of mothers, for the grief of souls separated by cruelty and greed. This book will touch the heart of anyone who believes that we must be reminded of true things, even if they are painful, so that we can move forward instead of repeating the past. A Million Nightingales is not a chronicle of hate, but rather an anthem of love.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on March 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In the early nineteenth century following the United States purchase of the Louisiana Territory from the French, Moinette a "mulatresse" is a personal slave to Cephaline while her beloved mother works in the master's home near New Orleans. Moinette's life seems good to her as her mistress treats her kindly and even shares books with her. However, when Cephaline suddenly dies, Moinette becomes expendable.

She is sold to another plantation owner. Ripped from her mother and a somewhat sheltered life, Moinette becomes a sexual plaything to her new owner. Abused and sexual assaulted and raped, Moinette eventually gives birth, but is once again ripped asunder from a loved one when she is sold and her child remains behind. Her dreams keep her going that one day she, her mom, and her child will be reunited.

This is a fascinating yet horrifying look at the de jure plight of a black female slave who must suffer sexual assault and humiliation. Adding to the overall feel of debasement is the comparisons to the lifestyles of her mistress. Though Moinette seems too enlightened about her place in society, readers will feel for her (impossible to fully empathize unless you lived the scene as being beneath the lowest rung of society) as historical readers get the rest of the story not included in the hasty books.

Harriet Klausner
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By lizm on October 15, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Had to read for our book club and I didn't finish. I have read some challenging books in the past and actually enjoy the challenge, but just had a hard time getting into the book because of the writing style. I thought maybe it was just me but the other ladies all had the same complaint. Maybe the book was written this way for a reason. The author wanted you to have a hard time reading like the characters had a had life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this book more. There's some beautiful writing here and Susan Straight does a good job of bringing to life an early 1800s Louisiana still struggling with the newness of its statehood. Also, really, how can I resist a story with characters named Sophia and Fronie? But I was frustrated with the novel's one note tone. I know the main character, the slave girl Moinette, feels deeply--she misses her beloved mother, for example--but everything she relates is told in the same deadpan, matter-of-fact voice. There's no sense of tension despite the life and death situations going on throughout the story. As a result the book is not a satisfying read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

A Million Nightingales
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: A Million Nightingales