Amanda's Reviews > The Book of Night Women

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
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's review
Oct 11, 11

bookshelves: historic-fiction, standalone, black-lit, favorite-fiction
Read from September 30 to October 06, 2011

This is the story of Lilith. A mulatto with green eyes born on a plantation in Jamaica to a mama who was raped at 14 by the overseer as punishment to her brother. Raised by a whore and a crazy man, all Lilith has ever wanted was to improve her status on the plantation. And maybe to understand why her green eyes seem to freak out slave and master alike. Assigned to be a house slave, Lilith finds herself in direct contact with the most powerful slave on the plantation–Homer, who is in charge of the household. Homer brings her into a secret meeting of the night women in a cave on the grounds and attempts to bring Lilith into a rebellion plot, insisting upon the darkness innate in Lilith’s soul. But Lilith isn’t really sure what exactly will get her what she truly wants–to feel safe and be with the man she cares for.

There is so much subtle commentary within this book to ponder that I’m finding it difficult to unpack and lay out for you all. Part of me wants to just say, “Go read this book. Just trust me on this one," but instead I'll give you a few excellent reasons to read this book:

1) This is a personal, vivid depiction of what happens when an entire society is based on greed and inequality instead of love and caring. It shows the desperation, the despair, and how nearly impossible it is to fix the situation once you're in it. No one is happy. Everyone is miserable from the master on down to the youngest slave girl.

2)Demonstrates how seeing race is a social construct.

3)Interracial love in an impossible situation that just breaks your heart.

Is this a difficult read? Yes. Is it a life-changing, thought-provoking one? Yes. I hope everyone will read it.

Check out my full review.

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Reading Progress

10/03/2011 page 44
10/04/2011 page 102
24.0% "Really enjoying it so far. Face-planted into it in bed last night, haha."
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