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My son (11) and I really liked the story. It was riveting, sad, powerful, and moving. I wish I 'd had forewarning about some light sexual discussion that my son was not quite ready for. For my 14 year old, there would've been no issues, but my 11 year old, yea, he's very much a child. Just be aware for your own kids before letting a very young one loose. Overall a great book, and a great performance.
Any additional comments?
Getting interested in the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination recently gave birth to curiosity about what life must have been like afterwards for freed slaves and freedmen. Though I really wanted a happier ending, of course, I wanted the truth more. It has made me very thoughtful about how peoples torn from their original homes, shipped to a completely new culture and treated inhumanely have survived, and done in fair part, well.
I'd like to know how they have achieved this success, thus far.
The author does an excellent, no, outstanding job of weaving fictional characters into real events. As the blurb says, this town in North Carolina was successfully integrated
economically, culturally and socially to a positive extent, with even the critical element of
democracy, information, balanced with both black and white newspapers. But, of course,
the anger and hatred of losing the war and the economic dependency of slavery burnt
very hotly and deeply in many an otherwise "civil" Southern breast, so it just took a small
flame to set these feelings brightly alight, setting a whole section of the state back to the
ideological stone ages.
I'm glad to have read it. This kind of story telling teaches me more about history than I
can otherwise learn. Mere linear events are never divorced from people's feelings, their
human needs, their information and belief system, and the decisions they make that help or harm their survival.