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Song Yet Sung

by James McBride

Song Yet Sung
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2008, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2009, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

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A story of tragic triumph, violent decisions, and unexpected kindness set in 1850, by the author of The Color of Water

Suspenseful, cinematic, lushly detailed, and filled with almost mythically colorful characters, Song Yet Sung demands a film adaptation from the very first page. But if you wait for it to come to a theater near you, you'll miss the easy music of James McBride's lyric styling. His third person narration recalls a storyteller's tone, relishing the story and the telling of it, not afraid to embellish a little to bring out the emotional undertone and engage the audience. He draws the reader close, but his sweet prose softens the brutal facts that shape the story, allowing the reader to wade into the terrible history, instead of reeling away.

On one level, Song Yet Sung is an adventure tale of the antebellum American south, revolving around the complex nature of the relationships formed by the institution of slavery. But in McBride's sensitive and sympathetic ...

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