Ann (Clearfield PA)
A Life Journey
Lawrence Hill has crafted an incredible piece of historical fiction with the passion he obviously feels himself. He brings Aminata Diallo to life and from page one you are swept away with her as she tells her story, one you are not likely to forget.
Mercedes (Cross River NY)
Someone Knows My Name
A powerful historically accurate book that brings alive the life of one woman enduring the emotional and physical hardships of slavery - written so well and so lyrically that we feel and see all she does - we are there - it is a visceral experience to read this book and I could not put it down - a true look at and experience of the human experience as it endures the unthinkable and yet retains it's humanity. It raises fascinating questions and one can see that to go against the tide is never easy but the results are world changing. This book will appeal to book clubs and older school students - as slavery is still happening today in other guises. Outstanding and beautifully written - I could not believe it was written by a man - he got into the mind and soul of the extraordinary life of Aminata. Highly recommended; a must read.
Kristin (King City CA)
Someone Knows My Name
I really enjoyed this book. A historical fiction novel that was easy to read as well as intriguing. A great insight into the slave trade as well. The writer did a great job of making you feel like you were experiencing Aminata's life as it was happening. I will definitely pass the book along.
Barbara (Philadelphia PA)
This book was engaging from the very beginning and I could not put it down. The character development, descriptions and plot were all extraordinary and although long it was well-paced. It is impossible not be drawn in by the main character and narrator, Aminata.
This book provides a fresh perspective on the horrors of slavery and prejudice. Knowing historical facts is so different than reading someone's first hand account of those events (even if in the context of historical fiction). Some characters stay with you long after the book is over and Aminata is one who I won't forget.
Barbara (Fort Wayne IN)
A Superb Tale
Hill's book is a powerful story of Aminata Diallo's struggle from her young girlhood to very later life. It is a superb tale which will keep you reading, from her abduction in a remote African village, to South Carolina, to Nova Scotia, to Sierra Leone to London ..... always trying to keep her identity and finding her way back to HER culture!
I truly enjoyed this horrific journey...a woman's view of her struggle every day of her life. It would be a fantastic book for a book club to discuss, especially one containing women! It could be considered comparable to "Roots"... only I identified more with this book. The strength of the human spirit is amazingly portrayed here with fabulous descriptive language ...... you will the "there" with Aminata when reading!!
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
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.