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by Rita Woods

Remembrance by Rita Woods X
Remembrance by Rita Woods
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2020
    416 pages
    Genre: Novels

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  • Linda K. (Sunset, SC)
    For fans of historical based novels, Remembrance is an emotional experience into a dark chapter of slavery in the new world. The overlaying stories of the female characters in Dominica in the late 17th century, fleeing to the port city of New Orleans, the American Civil War and Underground Railroad provide a rich background drop for Rita Woods' novel. The characters are interesting and elicited an emotional reader connection to the story.

    As well written as it was, I felt myself losing interest in the final chapters which became bogged down with too much dialogue. However, loved the ending with the current day character of Gaelle and think as sequel would be anticipated.
  • Becky S. (Springfield, MO)
    Twist on a familiar story
    This book was so different from any I have ever read! I am not one to read science fiction or the fantasy genre, yet I have read many historical fiction books.. this was what I would call a mystical, historical fiction. The special powers of the women in the story, is what made it all so special. I found that I couldn't put the book down and was tense with wondering what was going to happen next! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the imaginative way it was written.. very talented author ! I recommend this book for anyone who thinks they have read all there is about slavery, for this gives it a different twist altogether. It sure gave me a lot to think about ... are there people with special, mystical gifts walking amongst us? Read this book and I suspect you might become a believer!
  • Mary O. (Boston, MA)
    I LOVED this book! This book is a study of superb character development and the interconnections between three special women. As you turn the pages, you become even more a participant in their lives and the characters continue to haunt you after the book is long done. A book everyone should read - a TOTAL JOY!!
  • Jean L. (Omaha, NE)
    Remembrance, a book to remember
    REMEMBERANCE, a book written by Rita Woods, tells the story of three women who lived in a time when slavery existed in Haiti and a young America. Though they lived in different time periods, they each shared a cultural heritage that could be traced back to Haiti. Each of them had special gifts or powers that they used to help others and help themselves as they struggled to become free. Abigail, Margot, and Winter each had their own story. The fourth women, Gaelle lived in the late 60's in Cleveland, Ohio. This was an historical time of racial unrest. Although not a slave by definition, she was a victim of poverty and was soon to be evicted from the a home she had lived in for over twenty five years. This story is similar to the evictions the slaves experienced from their "masters" who moved them or sold them from Haiti, New Orleans, Far Water, and Kentucky

    This story also documents the cruelty of the institution of slavery and the inhumanity of men and women on men, women, and children.

    The book is historical in that there was a slave uprising in Haiti in 1791. Thousands of people died in New Orleans because of an outbreak of yellow fever in 1857. The Fugitive Slave Laws we're passed by Congress. This created a new job market for bounty hunters. What was not historical is a place called Remembrance. You will want to know about this magical place.

    In spite of that, the book, REMEMBRANCE is a book you will remember long after you have turned the last page.
  • Melissa S. (Rowland, NC)
    Rita Woods' massive 400-page debut novel, "Remembrance", does not disappoint. Woods artistically weaves history and fantasy into a lyrical story of slavery, despair, love, and desires. Following the journeys of three women (and countless other subplots) from both past and present, Woods encourages the reader on an adventure that left me, personally, wanting more. I wanted to know exactly how each character's story finished. This longing, I feel, is one litmus of a great novel.

    "Remembrance's" lyrical story of love, despair, and human strength during slavery is very reminiscent of Yaa Gyasi's "Homecoming". The two debut novels take the history of slavery in both America and Africa and eloquently place it in the reader's lap to both absorb and live. I cannot give enough credence to the lyrical language and the almost trance-like state Woods and Gyasi put their readers.

    The fantastical element in "Remembrance" left me wishing "if only" for the few slaves it benefited in the novel. I'm sure this place was exactly what many slaves dreamed of at night – a place to go where no white man could find them, and in plain sight!

    I felt like the current-day plot with Gaelle and Josiah was left a little undone. I wish I had more detail and background as to exactly what Josiah was and how he and Gaelle are going to manage in the modern-day world. I also want more on Winter. She was such a pivotal character and I feel like a huge chunk of her life and existence after the civil war was just not there. I wanted to know how she managed to be placed in the nursing home and why she never spoke.

    In conclusion, "Remembrance" is a novel of epic proportions. Woods tells a story that has been told countless times and makes it new and raw again. Reading Woods' debut novel will leave the reader with a sense that everything in this world is not as it seems. The reader cannot help but question the possibility that maybe there are forces at work in this life many will never experience, but a few will.
  • Gail B. (Albuquerque, NM)
    Is voodoo real, or is there truly a portal between time and space? REMEMBRANCE demands a leap of faith -- but then the reader is in for a treat. The novel begins in a modern-day nursing home and spans time from the 1791 slave rebellion in Haiti, to mid-19th century Louisiana to today, as black women struggle for freedom. The community of Remembrance is surrounded by "the Edge," which allows its residents to move through time and place. Rita Wood has written such an intriguing story, I read it twice.
  • Rebecca G. (Havertown, PA)
    Mystical and Magical
    It is intriguing to me that so many novels involving African American slaves contain some sort of magic. Slaves that can shape time and space, can see the future, can talk to and conjure up the spirits. I have always wondered if the magic is a way of dealing with the extreme oppression, of controlling and confusing the Whites who perpetuate the evil, if that makes it real. Remembrance is the best example of this magic that I've ever read. It's the story of four women: Abigail, the creator, Margot, Winter and Gaelle, women who have experienced slavery and evil either directly or indirectly. It's the story of a place, Remembrance, a place of sanctuary along the road to freedom that ultimately cannot escape the horrors of the power of the "blancs".

    I fell in love with these women and that place, their strength, their fortitude, their love. The story is ultimately a warning. We have not overcome racism but there are those ready to protect the oppressed at all cost. This a story everyone should read.

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