A Million Nightingales
Moinette's story (loosely b ...more
I'm ashamed to say that I discarded this novel about mid-way through - I just didn't find it captivating or original, especially when compared to other novels on similar subject matters by Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. Although there are many possible plots f ...more
I found myself thinking about the characters and the prose even when I wasn't reading. I love Susan Straight's writing style, character development, and subtlety.
The writing is lush and beautiful, which makes the subject matter even harder to bear, as Straight captures the rhythm and cadences of early 19th century Louisianna.
Ridiculous: I recently read the third book in the trilogy Between Heaven and Here. I'm a completist, so I don't read books out of order and I read all of them.
Good: I really enjoyed Between Heaven and Here and wanted to find out the stories that occur before and after. (The third book chronologically falls between the first and second books.)
Ridiculous/Good: I discovered the GoodReads "most read" authors list ...more
In A Million Nightingales, her fifth novel, Susan Straight achieves parity with the writing that made Toni Morrison one of my top three most admired novelists: a perfect amalgam of intelligence, empathy and artistry.
This novel is a slave story, and like the Civil War, World War II, the Holocaust, the Cultural Revolution, it takes hundreds, maybe thousands of stories to encompass these huge, life altering events. Fiction, biography, memoir, as well as history books are all required to bring the ...more
1. Exceedingly slow plot
2. Annoying stream-of-consciousness writing, often disjointed and ESL-like (yes, I get that the main character's English may not have been that great but surely her thoughts were coherent)
3. Uninteresting main character
For those who want to know, this book is about a teenage female slave, Moinette, who is sold away from her beloved mother. I just wasn't in the mood to read the rest of the tragic stuff that happens to he ...more
An amazing story of a slave woman. Of women. Of intelligent women in the first half of the 19th century in the South.
I can’t really say much more about it right now, except that as hard as some of the events of the story were, I am going to miss going to Louisiana every day in my mental lif ...more
I thought that the store itself was interesting enough. Mulatto slave girl that gets sold several times, abused, and neglected, and now quite fitting in anywhere. These stories are usually filled with tragedy, sometimes with triumph. However, what fell apart a little for me was the narrator's point of view (1st person) and the stream-of-consciousness storytelling style that was only ...more
Many ni ...more
Straight manages to depict the aching despair and struggles of those enslaved while simultaneously not demonizing an ...more
Moinette's mother tells her Moinette belongs to her, but in fact Moinette is sold and sent away around age 14 without a chance to say good-bye to her mother after the daughter of her owner dies (Moinette had served ...more
A Million Nightingales captures the evils of slavery in an honest and terrifying way. Written in the first person perspective, Moinette takes the reader from house to house, job to job, owner to owner. She captures ...more
Straight, whose sixth novel explores family bonds, slavery, and freedom in a dark period of American history, elicited almost universal praise. Moinette, an intelligent, moving narrative presence who navigates through__even exploits__slavery's constraints, charmed critics. Straight's evocative language also impressed them, as did the depth of her historical research__from boot blacking to gory scenes of murdered runaway slaves. (A glossary of Creole and French terms helps.) Only the Los Angeles...more
But here she is, and like I said, I do love her, though I'm yet to read a novel of hers as magnifcent as her short stories. A Million Nightingales was stunning at the outset -- I was reminded of the experience of reading ...more
Susan Straight's newest novel is "Between Heaven and Here." It is the last in the Rio Seco Trilogy, which began with "A Million Nightingales" and "Take One Candle Light a Room." She has published eight novels, a novel for young readers and a children's book. She has also written essays and articles for numerous national publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation and ...more