The Book Of Negroes: A Novel

Paperback | October 18, 2011

byLawrence Hill

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Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves— Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes.” This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.

Aminata’s eventual return to Sierra Leone—passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America—is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey. Lawrence Hill is a master at transforming the neglected corners of history into brilliant imaginings, as engaging and revealing as only the best historical fiction can be. A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroes introduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex.

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From the Publisher

Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves— Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Boo...

LAWRENCE HILL is the author of several novels and works of non-fiction, including the nationally bestsellingThe Book of Negroes,Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in CanadaandSome Great Thing. He also co-authored, with Joshua Key,The Deserter’s Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq....

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:592 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.33 inPublished:October 18, 2011Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:144340909X

ISBN - 13:9781443409094

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from All Time Favourites So glad I bought this book! Truly happy that he is a Black Canadian Author as well!
Date published: 2016-07-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Way too long! A lot of the information is repetitive and can be very boring at times.
Date published: 2016-07-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The book of negroes 1 liked the historical aspect of this book. A lot of research was required to give a good rendition of the period
Date published: 2015-10-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It was ok Actually I was disappointed with this book. Perhaps my expectations were clouded by the many advertisements regarding the CBC series. It was a tragic story of the ignorance of mankind with regard to their treatment of those perceived to be different than themselves.
Date published: 2015-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is absolutely amazing. A must read. It's so sad that these things happened but books like this enlighten us
Date published: 2015-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sharon B Thought it read a very good read And keep my interest the entire book One that did not want to put down.
Date published: 2015-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! This was a very good book. I read it very fast because I couldn't put it down. I fell in love with the characters too.
Date published: 2015-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book is by far number one on my summer reading list. I’m ashamed to say that this amazing book has been sitting untouched on my shelf for a few years now! For some reason I just could not motivate myself to pick it up (and not because it was a massive tome or the language was inaccessible). But this summer it was one of the first books on my reading list and I can’t believe it took me so long to discover it. From the first page I was hooked on Aminata’s story. I could not put it down once I started to read this book. The tale Hill weaves about this amazing character is riveting. The reader travels from Africa to America to Canada back to Africa and finally to London, all through the eyes of Aminata. Hill’s ability to honestly portray the ongoing prejudice and abuse the main character faces is deeply touching. The attention to historic detail and the ways in which the author carefully crafts this story to be as true to history as possible are inspiring. But the real strength of this novel is the character development. The main character is instantly likeable and becomes a real person to the reader by the end of her story. By the time one puts the book down, one can’t help but feel sad to say goodbye to Aminata. This book is by far number one on my summer reading list. If you haven’t discovered it yet, be sure to check it out!
Date published: 2015-08-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The book of Negros I thoughly enoyed the book, it kept my attention all the way to the end. i could not put it down!!:)
Date published: 2015-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Keeps you captivated Well researched book and it keeps you reading to the next chapter. Characters are well defined. The book takes to places that you cannot imagine. Well written book.
Date published: 2015-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Hard to read at times, but important to read, great book.
Date published: 2015-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Book of Negroes Excellent read. Enjoyed the book. Thanks.
Date published: 2015-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book has got to be one of my all time favorites. I have read it twice and will probably read it again soon. I highly recommend it to anyone. It's emotional and inspiring and pulls you in to the story. Its one of those books that you just don't want to end.
Date published: 2015-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book of Negro's Very well written .Although the author has stated this read is fictitious, it is non the less educational and inspirational. Will look for other books written by this author.
Date published: 2015-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book of negros Thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is one that I will read again and again, and I am sure I will learn something new with each reading
Date published: 2015-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellant read. Wow. What an excellant read of the treatment and hardships That these people went through. Great book.
Date published: 2015-04-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Book of Negroes Great book! Very interesting, heartbreaking, beautiful and complex read. I would recommend to any history buff or someone who is interested to learn about atrocities of the past. While this book covers a very dark time in history, there is a sense of hope. Well written, though I sometimes found my comprehension to be lower than is usual for me. I also found it to be a little bit longer than it needed to be, which could relate to the reduced comprehension... Overall a great read!
Date published: 2015-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome This was a great book beginning to end, the life of the ancestors of our black citizens , the hardships, the injustice, and pure animalistic way they were treated while still carrying on as normal a family life as possible is well portrayed. I started to watch the series but wanted to read the book first as I find I usually enjoy the written version much more and I wasn't disappointed
Date published: 2015-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Your delivery was very fast and the book is excellent. Thank you.
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Book of Negroes Every person alive should read this book. Athough some charactors are fictional it is evident that it is the real story of so many. This is the most captivating, intense read in a long time
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read I enjoyed this story, it had ups and downs and everything in between. Makes me sad to realize that this story is part of our history :'(
Date published: 2015-02-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book ! Once I started reading, I could not stop. It opened my eyes to a part of Canadian history that I never knew about. I really enjoyed the book and it made me want to read and learn more about black Canadian history.
Date published: 2015-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! such an interesting part of history we don' t often hear about. I had no idea so many slaves were brought to Canada after being in the U.S.A.
Date published: 2015-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Book of Negroes Kept you on your toes. Exciting. Well written. Hard to believe that their lives were in so much jeopardy
Date published: 2015-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping This book was amazing. I was so drawn in I couldn't put it down. Historically educational, and so incredibly emotional. I find myself still thinking about it weeks after I've read it.
Date published: 2015-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This hurts I've only read the preview and the pain and the tears have started already. Where is our humanity when these and worse atrocities continue still, this very day?
Date published: 2015-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the Best Books I have ever read and found it very difficult to put the book down! This story takes us from Africa, enslaving thousands of Negroes and taking them to different parts of the world. It focuses on an 11 year old girl and tells her story of slavery and how hard she fought to make changes, not only in her life, but many other Negro Lives. This book will Make you feel every emotion you could ever possibly feel. It draws the reader into the story and does not allow them to leave. It takes you on a journey of Slavery, from the very beginning of being captured, and causes you consider the forms of Slavery we utilize in this time of life. So many people do not truly realize there are slaves at this time in history ... They just follow, blindly by those who entrap them into this form of life. I would encourage people to read this Book and know they have come from this life. And still we enslave people in various vague manners, without anyone really knowing. A Fabulous Book that will leave you with heart-wrenching memories.
Date published: 2013-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Historical Novel The character development of the heroine Aminata and the references to real historical events draw the reader in by plunking this strong female character among the events of the slave trade. This novel by a Canadian writer is a must read.
Date published: 2012-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This book relit the fire i had for reading
Date published: 2012-01-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great story - recounts the experience of slaves This is the story of a slave who was kidnapped from a comfortable life in Africa, and brutally brought to America. I think it describes very well the experience of a slave who was happy and comfortable in her village, living with her parents. And then her life was altered in a profound way. She describes her feeling of disconnectedness from her new world, and then upon return - she could not establish that connectedness with her old world again. I enjoyed the book a great deal. However, I always wonder about male authors writing as a female protagonist. I just think that the main character, Aminata Diallo, was portrayed as an incredibly strong female, who managed to maintain her self-respect despite all the difficult experiences that she had during her many years. I think however, that she kept referring to herself repeatedly as highly intelligent, and beautiful, which doesn`t seem realistic to me - hence I wonder whether a female author would have this tendency - to constantly remind the readers of these points. Aside from that, different to many other reviewers, I found that the book dragged a bit for me, but nevertheless, I thought of it as very good, and liked it. But I didn`t give it more than 3 leaves, because I have read better, more rivetting and less self-stroking books. But I would recommend it, and I know my daughters both enjoyed it more than I did.
Date published: 2011-11-28