Slave Castles & Synthethesia: Background information when reading Amaryllis in Blueberry

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Amaryllis in Blueberry

by Christina Meldrum

Amaryllis in Blueberry by Christina Meldrum
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Feb 2011, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Megan Shaffer

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Slave Castles & Synthethesia

Print Review

Slave Castles
A pivotal scene in Amaryllis in Blueberry occurs when the Slepy family visits one of West Africa's slave castles. Though the slave castle in the story isn't mentioned by name, research will lead you to the Elmina and the Cape Coast region located on the coast of Ghana.

Castles were constructed along the coveted West African coast by European traders. The castles were originally built as trading posts and military forts due to their strategic positioning and proximity to the water. Though these trading posts were originally utilized for such items as gold, ivory, timber, and spices, by the late 1400s trade had expanded to include the buying and selling of human cargo in the form of African slaves.

St. George d'Elmina Castle is one of West Africa's oldest standing buildings and still holds the dungeons where an untold number of slaves were imprisoned. Juxtaposed against the sparkling Atlantic, the castle's dank, horrific dungeons shackled thousands of slaves until they passed through "the door of no return." Once through this door, slaves were forced to the water, loaded onto slave ships, and transported to markets in the New World, never to see their homeland again.




More than twenty-five slave castles can still be found along the coast of Ghana today. The castles are used as prisons, museums, administrative offices, and tourist destinations. While some are in total disrepair and decay, others have been declared World Heritage Sites by the United Nations.


Synthethesia
Yllis is a synesthete, a condition that gives her seer-like abilities. Synesthetes experience two or more of the five senses at the same time with one sense involuntarily causing a sensation in another. Thus a synesthete might experience taste as sound, or music as color. For example, it is believed that Lolita author Nabokov experienced letters as colors, while George Gershwin saw musical notes in color - which puts a whole different interpretation on his Rhapsody in Blue! Over 60 types of synesthesia (including emotional synthesia, as experienced by Yllis) have been reported but few have been studied in any detail.

Article by Megan Shaffer

This article is from the March 9, 2011 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Dark Flood Rises
    The Dark Flood Rises
    by Margaret Drabble
    Margaret Drabble, the award-winning novelist and literary critic who is approaching eighty and ...
  • Book Jacket: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...
  • Book Jacket: Dadland
    Dadland
    by Keggie Carew
    In her notable debut, Keggie Carew examines the life of her father Tom, a decorated war hero whose ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Everywhere I go, I am asked if I think the university stifles writers...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -