A Stylist Best Book of 2020
You’re free to decide your future. But how do you escape the ghosts of the past?
A stunning debut novel with echoes of Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and Sara Collins’ The Confessions of Frannie Langton
The pale-skinned, black-eyed baby is a bad omen. That’s one thing the people on the old plantation are sure of. The other is that Miss R...more
The chapter titles tend to give a clue. More clues come from who’s alive in the chapter and ho…moreThe slavery and post-slavery chapters tend to alternate.
The chapter titles tend to give a clue. More clues come from who’s alive in the chapter and how old Rue is. Slavery chapters focus on the plantation while Reconstruction chapters focus on the town and the community as a whole.(less)
With nary a misstep in plot, tone or character develop, Atakora takes us to a slave holding plantation in the South. The book covers the period before the Civil War and after. What makes this book so special is that I didn't feel like an o ...more
I was ‘sure’ it wasn’t for me.
1.Just a feeling;
2.a low review from a reader I admire;
3.the book cover disturbed me.
I made Paul, my husband, have a conversation with me about the book cover. He said:
“It did exactly what it was suppose to do; it got a fierce reaction out of you”.
I still can get chills from the cover alone....
My turn came up from the library —
I didn’t expect to make it pass a test run. Still on my high horse righteousness.
I WAS WRONG! I c ...more
The story is about emancipated slaves continuing to live on the plantation they’ve lived on for many years, after its destruction during the Civil War.
It centers most around a healer (conjure woman) Miss May Belle, her daughter Rue, and Varina.. the daughter of the white plantation owner.
The story goes back and forth in time showing how they had to live pre and post civil war times.
Miss May Belle was called upon for healing and the casting of spells and midw ...more
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CONJURE WOMEN is like if John Steinbeck sat down and wrote about the Black experience during the Civil War. It's just as epic in scope and the author, Afia Atakora, does a really good job showing people at their best and at their worst in the microcosm of plantation life. I was so impressed by the depth and complexity of all the characters, especially the two main characters, Rue and May Belle, who are the healing women on the plantation ...more
Secrets that keep these women bound and the suspicions the people have of this hoodoo magic.
The story moves back and forth from Rue, the daughter and to the mother, May Belle, and to the white master’s daughter. Truth and lies twisted from one fold into anot ...more
A gripping debut that follows the lives of three women through the years as the Civil Wars looms, as well as the years that follow the war, and the people in this community. Shared through the thoughts and days of Miss May Belle, a conjure woman; her daughter, Rue, who is still a child as this story begins, but who will grow to learn her mother’s skills in both casting spells and delivering babies; and Varina, daughter of Marse Charles, the plantation owner, and who through t ...more
The black baby’s crying wormed and bloomed. It woke Rue by halves from her sleep so that through the first few strains of the sound she could not be sure when or where she was, but soon the feeble cry strengthened, like a desperate knocking at her front door, and she came all the wa ...more
*thank you randomhouse for the gifted copy. All opinions are my own
Marse Charles has tasked May Belle with keeping his slaves healthy with her knowledge of herbs and midwifery. But her fellow slaves often come to her for a little hoodoo. She passes on her knowledge as best she can to her daughter, but Rue’s stock in trade leans towards lies and secrets, which ...more
The mother daughter relationship is always a subject rich with possibilities. Add to that what life was like for enslaved people in the time before, during and after the Civil War. Add to that a mother and daughter who practice the healing arts. And what you have is a marvelous, layered, and uniquely fascinating story.
The comparisons of this author with Toni Morrison are valid--truly! This is shockingly Atakora’s debut novel, but she writ ...more
The book follows a black slave mother and her daughter before, during and after the Civil War. Both come to be midwives. Both are knowledgeable in the art of herbs—their beneficial as well as their harmful properties. They know how to save people ...more
By the time Rue assumes the mantle of healing, the Civil War has passed. Although most of the whites have gone, the slaves live in relative obscurity with the outside world ignorant of their existence. Not knowing the full ...more
Conjure Women does nothing to "whitewash" either slavery or the dangerous years after it, but it also doesn't indulge in gratuitous violence. There is ...more
"Miss May Belle had used to turn coin on hoodooing. As a slave woman she'd made her name and her money by crafting curses. More profit to be made in curses than in her work mixing healing tinctures. More praise to be found in revenge than in birthing babies"..."Hoodoo...is black folks' currency."
These words set the tone for a novel I found a mixed read, but a mostly satisfying one. Alternating time lines allow for hints and slow reveals of life as a slave and as "free" people; o ...more
Powerful & vivid magical realism in a heartbreaking era of our history, wow!
Conjure Women is a lyrical character-wise debut. Rue is at the center of this story; she’s coming-of-age and learning to be a midwife from her mom, May Belle. They are the Conjure Women on the southern plantation where they are enslaved. Mystical natural elements are revealed in vivid scenes as Rue searches for medicinal plants and mysterio ...more
I had the opportunity to meet the author of this book through a Zoom meeting sponsored by my local library. It was fantastic.
This is a powerful debut novel. It is beautifully written and throughly researched.
It is the story of slavery and emancipation. We learn through alternating chapters the lives of three main characters, who remained to live on the plantation for many years during the Civil War.
May Bell is a healer and midwife and has magical qualities. She works on the plantation ...more
|Genre Readers loo...: November: Conjure Women||3||14||Nov 15, 2020 12:06PM|
|Mary Lib Saleh Eu...: Historical Fiction September||1||4||Oct 29, 2020 08:53AM|
|Retro Chapter Chi...: Conjure Women||16||12||Oct 25, 2020 05:32AM|
|Play Book Tag: Conjure Women by Afia Atakora 5 stars||1||17||Sep 02, 2020 12:32PM|
|Play Book Tag: Conjure Women by Afia Atakora -- 4 stars||6||25||Sep 01, 2020 09:27AM|
|Fiction Fanatics: August 2020 - Conjure Women||3||16||Aug 31, 2020 12:51PM|
|Play Book Tag: Conjure Women by Afia Atakora - 4 stars- (POLL)||9||26||Aug 31, 2020 12:48PM|