What if the history of the transatlantic slave trade had been reversed and Africans had enslaved Europeans? How would that have changed the ways that people justified their inhuman behavior? How would it inform our cultural attitudes and t ...more
The story is slow paced. It alternates between two points of view, the heroine (a white slave girl) and our antagonist (a black slave trader). But for some reason the heroine is dull at best, and the slave trader is witty making for a disturbing debate of whom to root for.
The aut ...more
Blonde Roots turns the whole world on its nappy head, and you'll be surprised how different ...more
Reader, beware!! She. Seriously. Fails.
Doris and her mantras:
Every morning I'd repeat an uplifting mantra to myself while looking in the mirror. "I may be fair and flaxen. I may have slim nostrils and slender lips. I may have oil-rich hair and a non-rotund bottom. I may blush easily, go rubicund in the sun and have cover ...more
Part alternate history and part biting satire, Evaristo's new novel plays fast and loose with geography, history, language, and culture as it restructures the world in a successful bid to reimagine the institution of slavery. Evaristo also includes several chapters narrated by Doris's master, who justifies the practice of slavery on pseudoscientific grounds and even congratulates himself on saving the brutal "whyte" heathens from lives of savagery. The world Evaristo creates is wholly foreign, y...more
The joy in this book are the tiny, obsessive details. African slavers freezing on the shores of England b/c they refuse to wear "european" ...more
The main ...more
The main character, Omorenomwara (formerly known as Doris), is intensely likable - she is feisty and smart, and you're rooting for a happy ending for her from page 1. Her story is heartb ...more
There are some parts that are a bit contrived or cheesy, but for the most part the author did a really good job of really putting the reader in a slave's place. Also, I hadn't expected to get the viewpoint of the slave owner, so that was inte ...more
But for the rest of the book, I'm not sure what the point is. It doesn't really work as satire; I cared too much about the cha ...more
While not meaning to, it is going to be impossible for a reader of today to NOT identifyt with the “whytes” in this fictional book moreso than the tales of act ...more
Well, duh. It's called history. We have seen in the past that slavery, regardless of who does it is horrible. That doesn't mean that the African Slave Trade has to be race-bent in order to show that. Especially when the results are not equal at all. I m ...more
The central race flipping premise isn't thought out -- it wobbles between crude stereotypes and simple re-hashing of other people's books about slavery. Reading it so soon after the Book of Night Women, an entirely passionate, serious, heart re ...more
And now, a semester later - what is on the reading list for one of my seminars? "Blonde Roots", which deals with exactly this what-if scenario.
What if it had been the Europeans who were enslaved by the Africans and sold to America to work there?
I was really intrigued when I read the blurb of this book, I thought it would be really interesting and moving but I was really disappointed by it. While it was thought-provoking and moving at times, it didn't capture my imagination in the same way that Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman did (an amazing book from what I remember, it has been quite a long time since I read it).
I thought it was clever that mid-way through the ...more
A daring and thought-provoking book, this story does its job very well. It was strange at first, reading about this different and yet familiar world, but as the book went it is seemed more and more real. Don't get me wrong, it was never a completely comfortable read, but is was scary how believable it all became.
It was easy to resonate with the character of Doris, to appreciate her viewpoint on the situation she was in. The others appeared as individuals, with clear ways of seeing the world i ...more
Although there is nothing new in the circumstances of what happened, we all know about slave ships and the horrific treatment, her characters and her premise make it very real.
It takes place long ago in a time intermixed with modern cultural references in a geography that doesn't quite exist. It's equal parts witty, horrific, funny, and sad. Sometimes within the same page. The viewpoints of bo ...more