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Song Yet Sung Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 5, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The writing is so beautiful and true that it gives you goose bumps. Liz's dreams of the future exquisitely convey, through the eyes of a time traveler, the wonder and tribulations of contemporary American life. The characters transcend stereotypes and come alive. Even Patty, a female-slave catcher who embodies absolute evil, is unique, individual, and fascinating. The interactions between the desperate young slave who loves Liz, and his struggling, widowed female owner, decent people trapped in an inhuman situation, are full of nuance and complexity.
The theme of slavery, the paranormal element, and the sheer brilliance of the writing invite comparison with Toni Morrison's Beloved. This is a superb work of literature.
This novel starts with Liz, who is nicknamed the Dreamer, and her gift of seeing the future is well known and well feared in pre-Civil War Maryland. Captured by a notorious slave catcher named Patty Cannon, Liz meets an old woman who spins her own fantastic tale of "the Code", none of which makes sense either to us or Liz. Determined to escape from her attic confines, Liz makes a daring move and frees herself and everyone else in the attic, thus starting the rest of the story, which is a hunt for Liz.
Liz's former owner and secret paramour hires a succesful slave catcher himself, Denwood Long, unfortunately named "the Gimp", who has a haunted past himself. Along with him, Patty Cannon gathers her own posse of people to ruthlessly hunt Liz. There is even a backwoods "bogey man", called the Woolman, who comes into the story in a very believable and chilling way.
However, it's Liz where much of the theme of the story lies. It's in her dreams that began to intrigue me.Read more ›
McBride touches on the past, present, and future of our racially divided country. Song Yet Sung has a lyrical style that runs the full range of emotions and shows the complexity of the human spirit. This wonderfully written work will strike a chord with readers.
Reviewed by M. P. McKinney
McBride has opened a channel into the minds of slaves, slave catchers, and others along Maryland's eastern shore circa 1850. The swamps are choked with intrigue and suspense as runaways struggle to escape from the hands of their callous, greedy pursuers.
One slave hunter is a woman. McBride draws an incredible picture of evil that is somehow tricked out with a few admirable qualities. Very few, but enough to give readers a glimmer of our own conflicted emotions.
The central figure, Liz the Dreamer, possesses a tragic gift. She can see the future and she sees her people will still be enslaved, even today.
McBride has penned a work for the ages.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written ,interesting book. I could empathize with the characters. Learned about oyster fishing in the Chesapeake Bay. Need to read THE GOOD LORD BIRD also!Published 2 months ago by sharon
I was transported through the swamps of Maryland, accompanied by fugitive slaves, slave owners, and those who made a living capturing slaves trying to escape on the underground... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Gobi
This book stays with you. It was challenging to suspend my disbelief yet I couldn't put it down until the complex characters and situations were revealed. Read morePublished 6 months ago by ANK
Good story. Interesting characters. Learned about the underground railroad. Highly recommend!Published 9 months ago by Nana