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Someone Knows My Name: A Novel Hardcover – November 17, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
At the beginning of the novel Meena is in London, an old woman who has lived a tumultuous life. At the urging of her abolitionist sponsors, she is asked to pen her story which would be used as evidence depicting the cruelty and inhumanity of the slave trade. Meena, an intelligent, educated woman, authors her autobiography via vivid flashbacks through time. She writes, "Let me begin with a caveat to any and all who find these pages. Do not trust large bodies of water, and do not cross them. If you, dear reader, have an African hue and find yourself led toward water with vanishing shores, seize your freedom by any means necessary." She continues and details her life as a young child in an African village, her capture and Middle Passage crossing, enslavement while in America, relocation to Nova Scotia, return to Africa (Freetown, Sierra Leone), and partnering with abolitionists in England.
However to summarize the book in such a way is a huge understatement - it is steeped in historical facts that educate and enlighten the reader; I was pulled in immediately after reading the opening passages.Read more ›
Taught by her mother to "catch babies", the girl delivers two infants during the course of the voyage, but death strikes once again on a shipboard uprising, white men and Africans butchered in a melee of impromptu weapons and deadly "firesticks". The sights and smells of this ordeal remain imprinted on Aminata's soul, the past severed as she is thrust into a new, forbidding world. At an indigo plantation in South Carolina, Aminata learns more harsh lessons of slavery, the humiliation of belonging to someone far more powerful and unpredictable, introduced to cruelty, degradation, love and motherhood, stripped finally of all she holds dear. Brilliant and curious, "Meena" learns to hide her accomplishments behind the façade of obedience. Even in her darkest moments of despair, Meena holds fast to the truth- she was born free and belongs to no one.
In such a story, the telling of truth is burdened with outrage: man's inhumane treatment of those they would exploit, the onus of slavery through centuries, the capacity for evil in the pursuit of profit. In Meena, we witness the toll on one human life.Read more ›
The brutality of the West African slave trade in which millions of Africans perished is well documented. However, when a knowledgeable and perceptive novelist transforms these records and the many personal accounts of cruelty and tragedy on the one hand and survival, perseverance and hope on the other into one inclusive narrative around one memorable character, the realities of the many merge into one rich and lively, heart wrenching and joyful history-based novel of exceptional beauty and power.
First we meet Aminata Diallo, the heroine of The Book of Negroes, as a frail old woman, yet with a fiery spirit and resolve that she must have had all her life. Hill's novel lets her relate her story in her own voice, direct and uncomplicated, yet subtle and insightful.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would have enjoyed this when I was in high school. I now have a discerning historical eye, and therefore rolled my eyes far too often while reading this. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Gilli B.
Amazing story of survival. Horrifying and beautiful at the same time.Published 11 days ago by Carole Sparkma
I've read this book now twice and I must say It was better the second time around. I found myself getting lost in the story for hours in public. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Alexis Wright
Narration by Adenrele Ojo - nicely done
I was hesitant to read this book at first. I'm glad I did. Appreciative for Mr. Read more
This book was great! It was full of details that were quite hard and sad to read. I recommended this book to everyone! 📑 👍 💗Published 1 month ago by Nice Girl :)
I found it difficult to put this book down, except one time when my heart was sad after reading a difficult chapter. The following day, I picked up where I left off. Read morePublished 1 month ago by L
This is a fascinating historical account of one woman's journey through the slave trade taken from from her village as a teenager in Africa through the sea voyage to America and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ghislaine Dean
The horrors and realities are spoken softly, as if I were reading a documentary. The spirit of the story echoed loudly in my mind and long after I finished it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Susan French
Historical fiction at it's best. I got entertained and educated at the same time.Published 1 month ago by Gary Pasquinelli