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Showing 1-10 of 82 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 142 reviews
on January 28, 2017
McBride is a great writer. After reading his book about James Brown titled 'Kill em and leave' I read the one about his mother 'The color of water' at which point I decided to order all of his books and none disappoints. 'Song yet sung' is one of them.
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on February 12, 2016
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 railway. Characters were complex, and although a tone of enchantment infused the story, they were believable and, I suspect, reflective of the people of the times. This book would make a marvelous movie....I can hear a soundtrack by Carolina Chocolate Drops playing in my head as I write this.
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on January 17, 2016
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. There are literal and figurative twists and turns throughout, making this a quick read but one I want to come back to after digesting it.

James McBride knows his subject and his rich research makes the characters come alive and the story jump off the pages into your imagination. I really enjoyed this book!
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on April 3, 2017
The book is well written in a lyrical way. Some wonderful statements the characters made such as Truth is lies and Lies are truth. The characters are described so well that you can picture them. Having been an avid Harriet Tubman fan as a child I really enjoyed this in depth written account of slavery in the South.
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on February 3, 2014
This is a "readable" novel - I finished it. I don't finish books that don't hold my interest in (pick one): compelling writing, compelling plot, outstanding use of language, or interesting characters. This one meets the mark in interesting characters and a sense of learning more about what slavery, and day-to-day relations between race were like pre-civil war, but that's about it. There are a range of characters from the young black woman who had supposed magic powers, a plethora of "bad people" led by a ruthless slave trader woman, an honest and courageous widowed farmer who treats her slaves with honor and integrity, and a lesser group of low-character types on the trail of any negro target they could catch, abduct, or otherwise capture and turn for profit. This leads to a range of concurrent storylines which detract from the plot - not add to it.There are a few likable characters - the widow farmer, her male slave, the "Woolman" (a black man who has left society to live mysteriously in the swamplands of Maryland's eastern shore), but the remainder are in a contest over who can be more vile, greedy, or contemptuous. Read it if you are hostorically minded and interested in learning about slavery with some elements (few) of the underground railroad, but if you're looking for a good story and a good page-turner read, pass it by.
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on April 20, 2017
Haunting, lyrical, deeply emotional, this book flew by like a bird on the wing. The characters were rich and complex. Racism and how we are all still trapped by slavery are dealt with in a very moving way, yet never preachy. I felt for everyone in the book. It made me afraid and hopeful at the same time. Thank God people have the strength to keep in the struggle. Thank God goodness still exists, despite so much evil.
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on May 20, 2017
I totally enjoyed this book. It's been a long time since I've found a book that I did not want to put down. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in this period in American history. Although fiction, it seems to provide a good reflection of that time period and ultimately a lot to reflect on in our present days.
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on October 1, 2014
I'm a native of Dorchester County, and grew up just four miles from where Patty Cannon lived. Mr. McBride did a remarkable job bringing to legends and myths of the area to life. His writing helped me see Patty Cannon and Joe Johnson, as well as the other characters, as more than names of a page. Strong writing and a compelling story.
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on February 25, 2015
I am in a book club that has been meeting for almost four years. This is one of the better books that we have read. Pre-Civil War setting including escaped slaves and those who hunted them makes for a thriller. In the fights, I felt myself want to throw a punch or two. Great story! For some reason, this book and the commemoration of the death of Malcolm X made me want to ready his autobiography.
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on August 30, 2013
I was fascinated by the progression of the tale and the author's fidelity to history while using it to create a page-turner, although I confess to living today in the site of the story.

It has to be highly recommended to those who either live today in the Neck District or who plan to the move to the region of the beautiful Little Choptank River, especially those interested in the realities of its history.
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