Friday, March 26, 2010

The Book of Night Women- Historical Fiction

Title: The Book of Night Women

Author: Marlon James

Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (February 2009)

Pages: 432

ISBN: 1594488576

The Book of Night Women
The Book of Night Women by Marlon James is beautifully written, depicting the lives of slaves in the seventeenth century on a Jamaican sugar plantation. The book describes in great detail the different kinds of slaves: field slaves, house slaves, and "Johnny-Jumpers"--those the master use to beat the slaves when they got out of control. Although he is a man, the author does an excellent job expressing the anger and hatred these ladies felt being raped, beaten, and dehumanized. Readers should be warned that the book's graphic depiction of slave abuse makes it difficult to read at times. The protagonist is a green-eyed slave girl name Lilita, who is believed to be the master's daughter. She was told that her uncle made the master mad, after which the master raped and impregnated her mother. Tragically, her mother died during childbirth in a dirty shack. In a ironic plot twist, Lilita, who looks white, falls in love with her master's white worker, and he falls in love with her too. Now Lilita must decide whether she should stay with a man who beats, rapes and kill other dark skinned slaves, or kill him and stand strong with the other slaves to revolt against the master. Readers will ultimately be intrigued by a statement repeated throughtout the book: "Every negro walk in a circle. Take that and make of it what you will." A MUST READ!!!

1 comment:

  1. Here is your first book for discussion.

    I think it is important to keep certain aspects of our history alive and in the minds of the living. I think the Native American genocide, Slavery, and the Holocaust - should be kept alive in art and research. By doing so, we all can continue to learn about the dark side of what it means to be human; we can be more assured of not repeating the past; and understand better the lasting effects of past injustices on the current social and economic status of many individuals living today.