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Redemption Song

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  517 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Owner of a small African-American bookshop, Miss Cozy has an unique gift: Customers who walk through her door rarely leave without a book that speaks directly to their life. But when Josephine--"Fina"--and Ross arrive in search of an obscure, unpublished manuscript written by a slave woman, Miss Cozy knows that all her visions have been leading her to this magical day.

Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 2nd 2001 by One World/Ballantine (first published 2000)
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Nandi Crawford
Probably one of the most profound books I have ever read. Two people go into a AA(African American)bookstore and grab the same book. The owner, figuring something amiss, suggest that they both take the book and read it together, never thinking initially their own ties to this book. Basically, it's a book written by a slave to help show the way, instead it gets anywhere but where it should. Very short but heartfelt story that I still re read from time to time.***** UPDATE(10/7/16)****. I went int ...more
Nia Forrester
What a lovely, magical, lyrical book. I highly recommend it.
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a small book with a HUGE message! It is a story targeted, I believe, at African Americans so that they might learn their history and learn FROM that history. But I believe it is a lesson that transcends race and culture. This is a story about history and fulfilling your destiny and being who you were meant to be and that message really resonated with me.I think the author can best sum it up in this passage..."Most folks go through their entire life working day in and day out, completely ...more
Mocha Girl
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put Redemption Song down...I read it in one sitting and recommend it to everyone...especially those of African American descent. The story is centered around Josephine Chambers, a successful business executive and Ross Buchanan, a scholar pursuing his PhD in Anthropology. They "accidentally" meet at the Black Images Bookstore in search of the very rare book entitled Children of Grace. While in the store, both discover the book at the same time, which lead the wise proprietress, Ms. Co ...more
Adrienne Thompson
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible read! It evoked so much emotion, was immediately engaging, and positively burgeoned with wisdom, wit, and truth. I could not put it down and hated to see it end. This author has been added to my list of favorites, right beside Bernice McFadden and Alice Walker. If you have not read this book, do yourself a huge favor and purchase it right now! It just might change your life and it will definitely feed your soul.

Adrienne Thompson
Author of Summertime
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
More like a 4.5. I felt like the dialogue was a little stunted at times, but definitely a very comforting read with a great concept and message.
Jun 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
I wish all of my students could read this. The book holds truths for all races and cultures.
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am going make this one simple. I got married because of this book. It was fun, it is quick, you almost want to read it twice, as it was a lot of fun. The story is very simple and well written. It is very much about love, loves lost and found, paths taken and redemption, and while I do not know the author, I do actually know the bookstore that was described as the lady that runs it is a good friend of my mother.
Tonya Willis-porath
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a fantastic read. The author had a gift for writing extremely simply yet really complex. Her style is poetic and beautiful. I can't wait to read more of her books. The story is a tear jerker, prepare to shed some tears.
Jan 13, 2010 added it
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to read about African American History
Recommended to Adeola by: My mother
SSR: Book-A-Month

What month did you read this book for? December

Title: Redemption Song

Author: Bertice Berry

Date started/date completed: December 30/January 3

Total Pages: 200

Rating of book (1-10): 8

Describe one major external conflict and one major internal conflict found in this book: There is the conflict of their ancestors that manifest itself into their own internal conflicts which separates the main characters Ross and Fina through theme of relationships. They both have conflict with each
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is maybe my second favorite novel after Colin Channer's Satisfy My Soul. (Love the titles, especially) - it was my first taste of 'spiritual realism' & is aligned with many of my personal beliefs. :)
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing read for me, the history and the detail was so good. You have to read this book.
Brenda Hunt
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Hope there will be a sequel....
This is a MUST READ!!!
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the most amazing book! I love to re-read it over and over again.
Arletta Saafir
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite love stories ever...a must read...
Apr 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I totally forgot that I read this book until I started reading " The Ties That Bind - A Memoir of Race, Memory, and Redemption" by the same author this past week.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What Bertice Berry has done in 178 short pages is a revelation. She intricately pulls from the past to shake the reader into the urgency of activism, love and faith in the unsettling times of present-day. This is a timeless tale of Black Folk. Of the people of Africa. Of the people of America. Ultimately, this is your story. Your story to finish telling. What have you done with your gifts and God's purpose for you? Will you be ready when it is time to act? Will you even realize when the time has ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I think the description is more eloquent and suspenseful than the actual read. It's cute and simple , but too simple/ vague , especially the stories of main characters.The story is entirely too rushed for all the themes that the author tries to cover; slavery, love, books, ancestry memory, freedom ,family, destiny. The author should have just buckled down on 2 ideas.The good is that there are a few anecdotes, my fav is"freedom is not freedom to do what we want but freedom to do what we are suppo ...more
Kathy A
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Powerful message within a somewhat contrived story
Garry Smith
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I truly enjoyed this book, it was a quick read took me approximately three days. I also now have a greater appreciation for Keith Jarrett music.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm going to give this quick read 4 stars for story. It was original and poignant. It resonated with me and not just the story of Fina and Ross but the story within the story of Iona. However the writing was disjointed and characters not fully developed, and in some instances, characters not developed at all. But even with that, I enjoyed it and found it very revelent!
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved Bertice Berry's writing style. I also really loved the way she told Iona's story. For me, the best part of the book can be found in the words of this strong character. All the pain she endured, all the misery she lived, all that suffering... The real lesson is somewhere between her lines. I liked this book because it talks about slavery, because it shows only a bit of what the slaves were living every day. I felt so much wrongness. And yet it is certain that the daily lives of the real s ...more
Angela Wilson
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
There are certain aspects that I enjoy about Berry's writing, and there are certain aspects that I don't like about Berry's writing. On the plus side, there were many inspirational quotes and situations in this book that really got me thinking. On the negative side, then ending was horribly rushed and the book overall was very hooky and unrealistic. I think I would have thoroughly enjoyed reading the slave narrative "Children of Grace" that was referenced throughout the book.

The overall moral o
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a great read! For such a short story, it certainly packed a powerful punch! The basics: two strangers searching for the same rare book end up in a book store to find only one copy is available. Both Ross and Fina need this book for differing reasons, and the store owner (Cosina - a woman with vision) devises a plan for them both to read the story. The story: Iona, the slave women who faced hardships her entire life but was suddenly given the gift of being able to read and write - thus p ...more
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I read a few reviews of this book before starting it and there is one that I absolutely agree with: the real story is the story within this story.

This is the first time that I have ever read a book about a book and how it changes the course of the character's lives. I found the plot to be original, but the execution lacking. Although the slave story was interesting it was not enough to bind the three characters together for me.

I found myself becoming slightly irritated when the story transitio
Light romance reading with a magical, spiritual connection for the woman and man who meet in a book store. They have both been looking for family history and are meant to meet and fall in love. The modern day romance really didn't hold my interest. Too much emotion and reliance on fate for being brought together by the wise, old book store owner. Obvious fairy tale and moral necessity of being brought together for my tastes. What I did like about the book was the slave story of their ancestors a ...more
Ruth Ferguson
I remember reading this book when it came out and I was sitting in a Starbucks crying like a baby, when I read this line: "You make me feel like myself." For me that is one of the most intimate statements I ever read. To be with someone who so completely accepts you - warts and all. And she was speaking about a husband she hoped to see again, but since he was sold to another plantation - in this lifetime she never would.

Here's to hoping we all find someone who makes ourselves...
Aug 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is such a profound book. It really brings home the scripture that says that all things work together for the good of them that Love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. It's a quick read but a sweet story of people realizing that life is not simply about them or even about right now but rather about our ancestors that have gotten us to this point and our children of grace...
Dec 21, 2010 marked it as to-read
I am a lover of History. African American history is a strong interest of mine. Redemption Song is my favorite book! It tells of a slave love story that was temporarily interrupted only to be fulfilled by the couple's ancestors. It's a story of courage and sorrow and reveals that true love does prevail. I usually re-read this book at least twice a year.
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