This book has been around for a number of years and had fabulous reviews but for some reason I just never picked it up?  Last week the CBC aired it’s first episode of the television adaptation of the book and I also listened to a few interviews on CBC Radio with Aunjanue Ellis, who plays Aminata Diallo, the protagonist in the book.  I missed the show but in the meantime ordered the book on my Kindle and started to read.  I have to admit, I am only half way through, but it is really an incredibly touching yet terrifying story and not at all the classic southern slave story I expected.  This story begins in Africa during the mid 1700’s and tells not only the harrowing tale of the 11 year old Aminata who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, but the true stories behind the slave trade … from African village to the Americas.

“This is one of the most stunning novels I have read in the past 10 years because it reveals not only a powerful narrative, but also because it challenges accepted ideas of our history.”  Bruce Meyer

If you would like to know more about the slave trade visit The Origins of the Slave Trade which gives a concise history.  It is definitely not a pleasant subject but it is nevertheless important that we understand the true history behind atrocities that we still feel the effects of today.  Aminata’s courage and incredible spirit will win you over and makes this a “must read” !

On a side note … many years ago while travelling in Africa, I visited some villages in Ghana which still had the remains of the forts where slaves were kept before being shipped off to America.  I visited the cells the slaves were kept in and was deeply touched and saddened.  The strangest thing was that when you arrived onto the top of the forts, where there were cannons and lookouts, there was the most incredibly beautiful view of the ocean … the contrast was disturbing.  Let us never forget!

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