Aminata Diallo has a name and a history and it is her job, one she didn't even choose, to tell us about what it was like to be stolen from her village, and enslaved in America. You might think you know about the slave trade, but you don't understand it, it's daily rhythms and international consequences until you read this book. Great writing, wonderful images, great humor, even, and a must read for anyone who ever even heard of Alex Haley and/or Roots.
Rated of 5
by Lani (Narberth PA)
Someone Knows My Name
How can one not be intrigued with a book whose first sentence reads,"I seem to have trouble dying."? This historical fiction novel of a young African child educates one to the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade in a painful raw voice. What was remarkable to me is how well this male author was able to give authenticity to a female child's voice and her transition to a woman. Indeed, the novel had wonderful melodic sections, well developed and distinct voices, superb storytelling and dramatic tension. I read the 486 page book in two days. Needless to say, sleep was unimportant when reading such a masterpiece!
Rated of 5
by Eileen (Pittsford NY)
Amazing tale of slavery
This is an absorbing, powerful novel that transports the reader to a distant time and place with an ease that is truly amazing. Hill’s intelligent and resourceful narrator, Aminata Diallo, has a wonderfully clear, strong voice. Her tale is just as much about the power of kindness and optimism as it is about the destructiveness of hatred and selfishness. It would be an excellent book club selection.
Rated of 5
by Kate (Arvada CO)
Someone Knows My Name Someone Knows My Name is a story that fills the reader with so many emotions,it is hard to identify what you are feeling while reading it. The story draws you in from page one and takes you on an amazing journey across many oceans and continents. I have never read a historical fiction novel that is so engaging, descriptive and even poetic at times. The story flowed beautifully and never lost its momentum. At 486 pages, that is a feat in itself. I definitely recommend it.
Rated of 5
by Linda (Walnut Creek CA)
A truly epic historical gem
Wow! How can I describe this book with just so few words! A female version of Roots? An African counterpart to Memoirs of a Geisha? Or maybe not compare it at all but rather recognize it for what it is on it's own; a truly epic historical gem. Someone Knows My Name is an important book about the West African slave trade and a young slave girl named Meena. Built around the British military document, or 'Book of Negroes' that was written during the time of the Revolutionary War to track the negroes that were being relocated to Nova Scotia, it is both haunting and inspiring. We follow Meena as her adventures take us from West Africa, to South Carolina, to New York, to Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone. Meena herself is certainly a strong and fascinating character.
As far as bookclubs; what book club doesn't like a novel that's both historical and cultural, and is narrated by a compelling and determined protagonist. I am grateful to have had a chance to read and review this spectacular novel.
Rated of 5
by Darlene (Simpsonville SC)
Book clubs take note!
After a few chapters, I expected to see a novel I had seen before, that of "Roots" by Alex Haley, but I was very wrong and was soon riveted to the life story of Aminata Diallo.
What made this book enjoyable was the unpredictability of the story line, the believable maturation of Aminata's psyche from child-like innocence to the wisdom of experience, and finally an epic that is beautifully told.
This would be a wonderful book for any book club as there are a number of issues, besides slavery, which would make for a lively discussion.
Rated of 5
by Aleta (Bainbridge Island WA)
An Unflinching Look at History
The story of Aminata Diallo chronicles not only her capture as a child in Africa, but also her subsequent search for freedom in many unforeseen places and circumstances. As events unfold, Hill highlights a little known chapter of American and Canadian history inspired by The Book of Negroes: a real document describing blacks who, as a reward for their service to the King, retreated from the Thirteen Colonies to Nova Scotia after the Revolutionary War. Although the characters are fictional, they have tangible roots in research that provide an intensely personal, sometimes visceral, look at real events. As a result, the fates of Aminata, her family and friends become increasingly important. Balancing the inevitable cruelties of slavery are the courage, will, compassion, and humor that breathe life into the tale. Too graphic for younger readers, the unflinching truths of the book seem both appropriate and compelling for anyone who is old enough to digest the evening news and survive to watch again. I finished the book quickly to discover the final circumstances of an indomitable woman and was not disappointed. When I read the last words, I closed the book with a thump and a smile
News Corp will officially split into two companies June 28(May 24 2013) As expected, News Corp has announced it will officially split its publishing and entertainment businesses on 28 June.
Its board approved the...