I think this read is my favorite of those Rinaldi books I've read to date. The central characters, CeCe, her uncle, and Earline are drawn out just enoI think this read is my favorite of those Rinaldi books I've read to date. The central characters, CeCe, her uncle, and Earline are drawn out just enough to create interest in the characters, while the supporting actors are not as well developed. Still, thinking over these three characters after having finished the book says something about the complex and compelling nature of their depictions.
I was fascinated with Earline as soon as I learned she'd had to swim to freedom. Earline, a slave and companion to a youngster, knew how to swim. Was she taught to better take care of her charge, the master's child? Was she taught by another slave? There are inner-city children all over America who cannot swim and drown with greater frequency than their non-Black counterparts. Earline knew how to swim, and swam to freedom while pregnant. She was tops on my fave character list from that point. Such an accomplished person, under the yoke of slavery.
I was as surprised as CeCe by the turn of events that occurred when she stood up for Earline. But she stopped the cycle of violence with which she had been raised initially by her father with her act. I have read CeCe described as bratty; they said they were not particularly interested in her character until much later in the story. They seem to forget CeCe was an emotionally and physically abused child, whose father was her bullying tormenter who could not own his own lousy character. A guilty bully describes CeCe's abusive father.
Uncle Alex was quite a man. He was the only character that felt contrived. He was too good to be true, and I love him for that. Every body needs a hero sometime.
The ending might have been differently done, but I like the summative nature of it. Rinaldi's writing does create the desire to linger in her worlds, but we here in the present must push on.
Tragedy. That is what you can expect when lies are in the mix.
Sis Goose is a member of the family for all that she is owned by Aunt Sophie, who loanedTragedy. That is what you can expect when lies are in the mix.
Sis Goose is a member of the family for all that she is owned by Aunt Sophie, who loaned her to her sister's family as she preferred not to be responsible for a babe in arms. Sis Goose is the older companion of Luli, who thinks of her as her older sister and friend.
Sis Goose, aka Rose, is the offspring of a sea captain and a slave woman. Her father visits her on the Holcomb plantation. The family relationships are, or should be, intensely conflicting for me, but I bring 21st C sensibilities to this thing. White folks were some odd creatures when they were allowed to own people and think that was behavior sanctioned by G-d.
Luli has two brothers. One is guarding Texas from the Indians, the other managing black market sales of goods through Mexico. The war, the Civil War, is over and the slaves in the east have been free for a couple of years. The Holcomb family is aware of this fact, but fail to inform their chattel that they are free. Here is a lie by omission.
I was bullied, thought weird, am extremely bright and was gifted in mimicry when younger; definitely saw aspects of my experience in thisI Can Relate
I was bullied, thought weird, am extremely bright and was gifted in mimicry when younger; definitely saw aspects of my experience in this manual. Appreciate the brevity and, especially, attention to self-soothing and meltdowns. My need for solitude, my comfort and reveling in it, explained. Newly diagnosed, but always keenly aware of the difference in perspective I held, reading through the first time was comforting. Missing, though, is another voice in the AS canon. Perhaps it is time to tell my story....more
Oney Judge existed! I misunderstood this when I started the book. There is much to be said for starting from what Western readers think of as the backOney Judge existed! I misunderstood this when I started the book. There is much to be said for starting from what Western readers think of as the back of the book. If I had started there, with the Author's Note, I would not have been so surprised to discover Oney really lived, as did Washington's personal attendant and slave, Billie Lee.
Not wanting to give anything away in this informative historical novel, I will say that from the beginning of the story, we are told, by Oney herself, that she ran away. She ran away from comfort, security of a sort, light duty, no responsibilities beyond those assigned to her by her masters. She left all she had ever known, her family, friends, her cozy room with a fireplace, her better quality clothing, left it all for freedom.
Rinaldi continues to hold my attention during this Black History Month!...more
This is billed as a story about love and loss, which it is on a minor level. On a major level it is about rape and its aftermath. This should be knownThis is billed as a story about love and loss, which it is on a minor level. On a major level it is about rape and its aftermath. This should be known going in.
Also, I dislike the resolution of the tale, the characters were not really believable with the exception of the father, Clayton. He has the emotional depth of all the characters, but is the best described....more
For Black History Month, I'm reading all of Ann Rinaldi's works associated with the slavery or Civil War era in American history. Historical fiction:For Black History Month, I'm reading all of Ann Rinaldi's works associated with the slavery or Civil War era in American history. Historical fiction: how I want to write one as good as Rinaldi's!
First, a criticism: the cover art is deceptive. Eulinda, our protagonist, is very fair-skinned. She is referred to as "bright-yellow" because she is fair enough to pass for white: she is the master's daughter. The cover picture, while nice, does not reflect the true nature of Eulinda's "race."
Race only means skin color, and the fact that other characters are referred to as Negroes or mulattoes suggests Rinaldi meant for race to be considered up front in this wonderful narrative of a young girl on the brink of freedom and how she navigates the consequences of her birth. Eulinda is a slave, daughter of the master and a slave mother, raised in the household and treated somewhat as family, but a house slave she is.
Andersonville is an active character in the story. From studying marriage in the time of slavery, I came away with the idea that Anglo men didn't much care for their women. (That's why President Obama caught so much hell; his mama slept Black...) After learning about Andersonville, I learned Anglo men don't care much for one another, either. All that Reb and Yank rationalizations, when men had their blood up, a contradictory way of lifestyle at stake, and you get all sorts of cruelty unleashed on the world. Eulinda's world was easy compared to the brutish lives led and lost in Andersonville. 13,000 dead in one year.
Then, there is the Clara Barton story. I love the stories of Florence Nightingale and her nurses in the Crimea. Here, we have a slight dusting of Barton's story, but it was enough to cause me to review her story, just as the descriptions of Andersonville caused me seek and find a movie of the same name. Egad, hideous.
Plot resolution was well done. I like feeling there were no loose ends hanging, but that potential spread before all involved.
I whipped through this book and cannot wait to get to the other one in the library. Wow, this took me back to when I was a volunteer in hospital, a CaI whipped through this book and cannot wait to get to the other one in the library. Wow, this took me back to when I was a volunteer in hospital, a Candy Striper. I was around 11 or 12, before all sorts of regulations set in, in a small community hospital. Are there still Candy Stripers? Have to look that up.
The supervisor tried me in every department where there were live people, feeling pain/nausea/effects of dis-ease, and I couldn't hang. If the patient felt pain, I felt pain. The only thing I didn't do was cry. Blubbering doesn't make much of an impact on me.
Finally, I think in a fit of cheek, I was sent to the pathology department. What a wonderful place! If you don't mind the odd smell of the place, it is perfect for a soul that craves quiet and a place to do focused work. Doctor had been on faculty at Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston, and right away he spotted my gifts of auditory memory, medical vocabulary, and lack of squeamishness, built on them by teaching me anatomy, physiology, some elements of hematology along with general diener skills. He taught me how to make/mount frozen sections, a decent y-cut, the order of things (which is in the book!) and all manner of things until he spoiled me for the conventional study of medicine, where you do not touch a patient for years but acquire book and laboratory knowledge. OJT rules!
This book validated my unusual childhood training. I never liked mysteries, but this one drew me in with its familiarity: many topics that I have long been interested in play center stage in this tight forensic tale.
Bride burning was the thing when I visited India in 1997. I never thought about child brides among the Brahman. I do not know if this practice continuBride burning was the thing when I visited India in 1997. I never thought about child brides among the Brahman. I do not know if this practice continues today, but this story about what it meant to be a widow in the days of the massacre in Amritsar is priceless....more
The preface hooked me. The story is about slavery and fantasy, slavery and folk culture, slavery and acquiring freedoms, physical, mental, and emotionThe preface hooked me. The story is about slavery and fantasy, slavery and folk culture, slavery and acquiring freedoms, physical, mental, and emotional.
47 narrates the tale of how he came by his freedom with the help of an oddly colored, odd-talking Negro whose favorite admonition is Neither master nor nigger be.
I want to have every soul going about with nigger on their lips to read this story. It demonstrates what thinking lies behind the word and it explores the master-slave relationship.
Beyond that, it brings to mind the Borg, all the stories I ever heard about High John the Conquer(er), and all my imaginings of the various escape attempts that occurred during slavery....more