Melissa Crytzer Fry's Reviews > Washington Black

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
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it was amazing

Oh how I loved this book! I was in need of lovely, sensory language and an engaging tale – and perhaps, more so, I was in need of a journey with incredibly rich characters. As the book jacket copy hints, this is a bit of an adventure story and includes a handful of very colorful characters. In another writer’s hands, these individuals – and the story itself – might have come off as too fantastical, but with this author, I felt them to be wholly realized, not caricactures – even the ones we meet only for brief moments.

The writing… Swoon:

That night I dreamed, for the first time in months, of Big Kit. We were standing at the edge of the cane at sunset and there were tiny flecks of insects feeding in the darkening air. A haze of pale light was furred around Kit’s head, like a halo, and I could not make out her face…

Oh how I loved Washington, and Big Kit, and Titch – and the science! Oh the science and wonderment of the world within these pages… This book earned many literary accolades, including Canada’s Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize. So deserved. This is first-person fiction written well. It is, in fact, an older Washington looking back upon his young life and retelling it. That storytelling choice makes the language and the novel all the richer.

This is a story with its share of cruelty, but also a story of hope, regret, and of living one’s truth. At its heart, it is a story about family.

”Do you know what family is?” he said bitterly. “He turned and met my eye, studying me some moments. “You do not know what family is, because you have never had one. That is why you think it matters.”

Oh, so many times were my heart-strings tugged on account of young Wash’s unquenchable thirst for family. I cared about this character so very much. In fact, I am dying to talk to someone about the very last scene of the novel. It is, indeed, open-ended, and I can find nearly a half dozen interpretations for it (and yet no discussions from the author regarding her intent)! This is not a criticism; I tend to like open-ended endings . I just need to puzzle it out a bit more. I absolutely look forward to future work (and back work) by this talented young author.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 23, 2019 – Finished Reading
February 25, 2019 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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message 1: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Fantastic review Melissa!


Elizabeth Great review! I loved this book as well! It’s funny when you describe it, the adventure story is so fantastical that it doesn’t seem like it should work, but it totally does!


Melissa Crytzer Fry Karen wrote: "Fantastic review Melissa!"Thanks, Karen This was a great read!


Melissa Crytzer Fry Elizabeth wrote: "Great review! I loved this book as well! It’s funny when you describe it, the adventure story is so fantastical that it doesn’t seem like it should work, but it totally does!"I know, Elizabeth... It could have been schlocky, roll-your-eyes-in-your-head, but it was written in such a convincing manner that I was able t suspend disbelief and go along with every little morsel of the storytelling!


message 5: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Melissa wrote: "Karen wrote: "Fantastic review Melissa!"Thanks, Karen This was a great read!"
I’ll have this soon from library hold😊


message 6: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I was sold with your first sentence, Melissa. Great review! I have to get this !


message 7: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Excellent review, Melissa! I need to find my copy. I’m embarrassed to admit I gave it a pass because I don’t like the cover. Shallow but true


Melissa Crytzer Fry Tammy wrote: "Excellent review, Melissa! I need to find my copy. I’m embarrassed to admit I gave it a pass because I don’t like the cover. Shallow but true"Not shallow at all. We DO judge books by their covers; not sure if your ARC had the cartoony air-balloon on it, or the bold words only ... but those things DO, as we know, impact reader receptiveness! I think you'd like this, Tammy!


Melissa Crytzer Fry Angela M wrote: "I was sold with your first sentence, Melissa. Great review! I have to get this !"Yes, Angela... you DO need to read this. I think you'll LOVE it!!


Melissa Crytzer Fry Karen wrote: "Melissa wrote: "Karen wrote: "Fantastic review Melissa!"Thanks, Karen This was a great read!"
I’ll have this soon from library hold😊"
Yippee, Karen!


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader I need to read this, too. Fab review, Melissa. I just know I’ll love everything about it you did.


Melissa Crytzer Fry Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader wrote: "I need to read this, too. Fab review, Melissa. I just know I’ll love everything about it you did."I really think you will, Jennifer. It's fabulous.


message 13: by Susanne (new)

Susanne  Strong Fantastic review Melissa! Sounds so good!


Melissa Crytzer Fry Susanne wrote: "Fantastic review Melissa! Sounds so good!"

Thanks, Susanne. I think you'd like this one!


message 15: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Not at hello, but you had me at: "The writing… Swoon." Fabulous, Melissa!


Melissa Crytzer Fry Cheri wrote: "Not at hello, but you had me at: "The writing… Swoon." Fabulous, Melissa!"Glad I could hook you. This was such a great book!


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