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Cane River by Lalita Tademy
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Sep 03, 12

Read in January, 2002 — I own a copy

Lalita Tademy tells of how in the search for her ancestors one in particular, Philomene grabbed her and seem to urge her to follow her quest and bring their lives to meaning through the words of a book. It was such a compulsion that she quit her high paying, high powered day job as Vice President at Sun Microsystems to research and write the saga of Cane River and I as a reader am glad she did.
The story starts at a plantation in Cane River Louisiana in 1834 and follows the brave women who fought for the survival of their family, Elizabeth, Suzette, Philomene and Emily. The goal of all the women is to insure the survival of the family which is often a difficult goal for those who do not own their freedom. It is one which requires compromises and difficult sacrifices. Lalita Tademy makes these seem all the more real and genuine, because it is the story of her family.

Cane River while neither fully a novel or a history serves to illustrate how difficult lives were for those who were enslaved during our early American history. I am thankful that Tademy has taken the time to tell her families story. It is a story which we should all be aware of.
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