Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review--The Bondwoman's Narrative

The Bondwoman's NarrativeThe Bondwoman's Narrative by Hannah Crafts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fascinating peek into American history, women's literature, slave narratives and gothic novels. I gave it five stars because I'm not going to judge the author's sometimes fractured grammar and spelling. The book was spell-binding.

"Hannah Crafts" was a literate slave woman, light-skinned, able to pass for white when she needed to. The extensive research Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. puts into tracking down the author of The Bondwoman's Narrative reads itself like a detective novel, and one can almost feel his joy when certain clues cause information to click into place, authenticating the veracity of the tale.

Part of what makes The Bondwoman's Narrative so interesting is how Crafts brings a woman's perspective to the story in her discussion of relationships between mistress and maidservant, and her frank inclusion of the sexual abuse slave women faced from both their white masters and sometimes, from fellow slaves.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Antebellum US history.

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