Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
On the library stacks: Adult fiction
Awards: Myers Outstanding Book Award, Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book Overall, Scotiabank Giller Prize Nominee, Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction, CBC Canada Reads
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The breadth of this novel is so huge, even sitting down to write a review is a daunting task. My book club read this in January and there was plenty to discuss.
Aminata Diallo is a young girl in Africa when she is stolen by the slave traders and forced into slavery. She is brought to South Carolina and eventually escapes in New York City. After serving the British during the American Revolution she is granted freedom in Nova Scotia. When living conditions there worsen, she travels back to Sierra Leone. She finishes her life in London where her life and testimony support the abolitionist movement.
I loved this book for opening my eyes to many more facets of slavery than I have really allowed myself to consider before. It's real and it's heartbreaking. But somehow Aminata is inspiring and I never really found the book particularly depressing, even though it could have been.
The book came short of 5 stars for me because the last 150 pages really glossed over the last part of her life. For giving us so much detail in the beginning, I felt a little short-changed. But I felt the author did a fantastic job writing the book from a female perspective and I appreciated his attention to historical details. If you do read this book, I suggest reading the author's note at the back first. I was glad I did.
Also reviewed by: My Book Retreat ~ Gerbera Daisy Diaries ~ Thoughts of Joy ~ Your link here?
51 minutes ago