April's Reviews > Someone Knows My Name

Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
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's review
Aug 30, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010-reads, favorites
Read from August 25 to 30, 2010

Many authors have extolled the virtues of a name. Something so seemingly simple, yet something that has the power to determine one's future and tell one's history. It is an unmistakable, indelible part of one's identity. For someone to know your name, there must be a common understanding of language. A civil meeting. An introduction. History.

Under the cover of night, Aminata is brutally taken from her homeland and forced to endure unimaginable tragedies at the ripe young age of eleven. Her tribal land is burned. Her family taken from her as she watches. Her freedom gone. She is forced to march for weeks on end towards the ocean where she is thrown onto a slave ship. The atrocities experienced on the ship drive grown men mad. Strip survivors of the ability to talk. Somehow, the young girl survives...

Aminata's life is full of tragedy. Loss. Hardships. Yet, she endures. She says herself, it's no wonder she is still alive as she should have died many times. She escapes enslavement in South Carolina and finds work as a scribe for the British. The conditions and hardships lead her back to Africa, then to London. All the while, she witnesses the same horrific conditions that sent her running years earlier. Never able to establish a home, a family, she longs for the caring touch provided by loved ones. She longs for the familiarity offered by a community. Most of all, she longs for the sound of someone saying her name. Her real African name.

A book that will be impossible to forget.


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