Saturday, May 16

Book Review: The Book of Negroes

Title: The Book of Negroes

Author: Lawrence Hill

Pages: Ebook 367

Summary: Readers will follow the story of Aminata, an unforgettable heroine who cut a swath through an 18th-century world hostile to her colour and her sex. Abducted as an eleven-year-old child from her village in West Africa and put to work on an indigo plantation on the sea islands of South Carolina, Aminata survives by using midwifery skills learned at her mother’s side, and by drawing on a strength of character inherited from both parents. Eventually, she has the chance to register her name in the “Book of Negroes,” a historic British military ledger allowing 3,000 Black Loyalists passage on ships sailing from Manhattan to Nova Scotia.

This remarkable novel transports the reader from an African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from a soured refuge in Nova Scotia to the coast of Sierra Leone, in a back-to-Africa odyssey of 1,200 former slaves. Bringing vividly to life one of the strongest female characters in recent fiction, Lawrence Hill’s remarkable novel has become a Canadian classic

My Rating: 9/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: It's hard to know where to start with the book. It was intense, graphic, horrifying at times. But it was also such a powerful story, it was hard to put down.

The writing was superb, the author create Aminata's voice wonderfully. Her character felt very real and I couldn't help but fall into the book and become lost in it. While the alternating time jumps took a while getting used to, it did help break up the story, especially considering some of the scenes in the book. Which was my least favourite part of it. There's no way the book would be the book it is without everything that's in it, but there are some horrifying moments in the book.

Words are hard to come by to fully explain the book, it's one of those books you need to read and experience for yourself. The writing was lovely, the characters stick with you, the story is one t hat should be read by all. What an incredible read.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, although it is rather intense and graphic at times, it's also a very lovely and powerful read, and one I'd highly recommend.

What to read next: The Help,

Challenges: 100+ Book Challenge, 2015 Category Challenge, 8th Annual Category Challenge, EBook Challenge, New Author Challenge, Ultimate Canadian Book Challenge


  1. I agree it was quite graphic at times. I think this is what stopped me from watching the mini series, although I heard it was really good and the book told an amazing story. Nice review Jules.

  2. Have you seen the fancy illustrated/annotated version of the book? It's just gorgeous, and part of me wishes that it had been the book I had read to begin with (just the paperback for me). After reading it, I listened to the audio version and it was very good too!