The Book of Negroes – Lawrence Hill


I have to say that this book is another of my favorites for 2009!

Meena, who was born in Africa in the late 1700’s lives a quiet but happy life with her parents in their village. Her father is a jewellery maker, and her mother is a midwife that “catches” babies when they are born. One fretful night however, returning to their village after birthing a baby, they come across men who are going to steal them and sell them as slaves. On this night, Meena’s mother and father die, and across her journey across Africa to be brought to America to be sold, this is her story, her journey of live, love, sacrifices, new lives, old lives, and the strength of a woman which is so strong that it defies even some men.

I have to say, for a work of fiction to be so breathtakingly beautiful and at times so harsh, intricate in the detailing, but yet poetic and at times heartbreaking. It sounded like a true story, all you could feel was her plight, and how hard she was working to ultimately getting her husband and her children together. There are so many issues that also come with a book of this magnitude as well – slavery, laws governing slaves, and the plight of these people being taken from their homes in less then ordinary circumstances to serve others.

I would highly recommend this book, I will cherish my copy for years to come. Lawrence Hill is also a Canadian Author. This book was long listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, is a National Bestseller, Winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Best Overall Book, Winner of the Rogers’ Writers Trust Fiction Prize, and the Winner of Canada Reads 2009.


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