Historical Literary Fiction
Her search begins with an ending….
The master of the Providence plantation in Barbados gathers his slaves and announces the king has decreed an end to slavery. As of the following day, the Emancipation Act of 1834 will come into effect. The cries of joy fall silent when he announces that they are no longer his slaves; they are now his apprentices. No one can leave. They must work for him for another six years. Freedom is just another name for the life they have always lived. So Rachel runs.
Away from Providence, she begins a desperate search to find her children–the five who survived birth and were sold. Are any of them still alive? Rachel has to know. The grueling, dangerous journey takes her from Barbados then, by river, deep into the forest of British Guiana and finally across the sea to Trinidad. She is driven on by the certainty that a mother cannot be truly free without knowing what has become of her children, even if the answer is more than she can bear. These are the stories of Mary Grace, Micah, Thomas Augustus, Cherry Jane and Mercy. But above all this is the story of Rachel and the extraordinary lengths to which a mother will go to find her children…and her freedom.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
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(4 / 5) “When the hurricanes came, they ripped up even the sturdiest trees. And when the white man came they tore children out of their mothers arms. And so, we learned to live without hope.”
Oh that line just about broke me. It was within the first few minutes of the audio and I had to stop. I wasn’t sure my heart could take it. Over the next few weeks it called to me but I pushed it back, not ready to listen. I knew I needed this story, I wanted to hear this story. I just didn’t know if my heart could handle it. Shearer made the story educational but full of hope.
History. I hate it when people say that it repeats itself. A lot of history is full of events we should not be proud of, but be able to learn from them and do better. This is my hope for stories like this.
It truly is heartbreaking. How. How, do you survive when your child or children are taken from you? Even worse, you have no idea how close or far away they are? What they are enduring? And when you can somehow look for them, will you recognize them? Will they be alive? Will you find the right people to guide you where to look? There is so much unknown.
What an amazing story with amazing characters. It portrayed well atrocities of man but the hope that survives. This one will stay with me for quite some time!
AUDIO REVIEW: Fabulous. The different Caribbean accents brought this to life. The emotion was portrayed well along with the intense moments. I believe the audio accentuated this story well.
General content summary: little to no language, Milagros/Negro slurs (multiple), oppression, slavery, captivity and escape, a woman purposefully trampled by a man on a horse killing her, as a punishment a man has his nose cut off but it gets infected and he dies, children taken from parents (multiple), young woman raped then doesn’t speak again, many stillborn or miscarriages, many children die of illness, many stories of children or siblings taken away and sold, a woman fights a man trying to rape her and she ends up in jail since she is black and he is white, prostitute, contemplation of suicide (previous), births (some details), child death (grief, some details), rebellion (battle, injuries, deaths), gunshot wound, captivity, fire, execution of 2 (details, grief), arrow injuries, a baby had been killed by a caiman on the side of a river, a woman comparing her naked body to another woman’s during a bath, stories of many beatings where some lead to death, pregnancy, spousal/significant other death (previous, grief), whipping (multiple, some details, pregnancy), man punches a woman, birth (some details).
Thank you to PRH Audio for the gifted copy!
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