Debra Humphrey's Reviews > The Known World

The Known World by Edward P. Jones
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Aug 11, 12

Recommended to Debra by: Sierra Madre Public Library
Recommended for: Patient Readers, History Buffs
Read in April, 2005 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I felt that this book was important to read because it deals with a piece of American history that, like Europe's Holocaust, can never be comprehended, but should never be forgotten, either. The story is told from the less common third person all-knowing point of view, which made it read more like a history book than a novel in some parts. Tackling the complex morale issues surrounding slavery from a new perspective, this book explores the area of black owners of slaves.

A very complex and compelling book about Henry, a former slave who becomes a slave owner, and his wife Caldonia. But they're just the start - the book is really a series of stories and vignettes about the families, friends, neighbors and community surrounding Henry and Caldonia. It took me a really long time to get into the book, because there are so many characters, some important and some not, and the book jumps around in time, making it difficult to follow. Trust me, use the cast of characters at the end of the book (why not place this at the beginning?!), give up your expectations about traditional narrative format, and you'll LOVE this book as much as I did.
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