Xcellent Middle Passage and Barry Unsworth s Booker award winning Sacred Hunger Some of the other reviewers seem to be confused by aspects of this book First of all it is set at the time between the banning of the slave trade and the mancipation of all slaves ie a time when cargoes were no longer lawfully coming out of Africa but it was still lawful to own My Little Blue Dress existing slaves in plantations Secondly Emily Cartwright is not travelling alone she has her companion Isabella who dies on the journey out Those are not the mysteries of the story The real mysteries are the ones thatxist in the gaps between sections of Hurrah For The Blackshirts!: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars each version of the narrative forxample the moment where Emily begins to refer "TO MR BROWN AS ARNOLD IN " Mr Brown as Arnold In of these gaps there occurs the moment t You don t get the narrative you want but you get the narrative you need This is not a book that will follow the formulas and conventions you are accustomed to I will say I disagree with the review on the cover I don t feel this is a fast paced novel rather it is slow and thoughtful meditative and frustrating Caryl Phillips doesn t give you a white washed self congratulatory version of history He makes you look at the parts you want to forget the vile ugly He makes you look at the parts you want to forget the vile ugly you want to gloss over in favor of the brighter if they can be considered such points We want forget the philosophical and scientific racism that the racist whites used to justify their treatment of African slaves We want forget the social death imposed on blacks when they were ripped from their families and land of origin We want to forget the way that they were denied any future by their white masters When we whites think of ourselves as having done the right thing by Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life ending chattel slavery it s tooasy to think we ve done Crazy Love enough It s important to know and understand the undergirding ideas that supported slavery because so many of them are still present today We don t see them because like the diarist in part 1 of the novel we are blinded by our privilege and our social power Phillips makes us look at it rubs our faces in it and we can t look away He doesn t give us redemption He doesn t give us a white savior This novel is so relevant today It was avant garde for its timearly 90s But now in 2020 we can see the Annual Editions: Technologies, Social Media, and Society effects of not looking deeply at our past and being too uick to pat ourselves on the back So much of the same oppression continues It is baked into ourconomics and our politics and our communities and our relationships So is this a fun read no But it s a necessary one And in case the novel feels made up or too xtreme for some sensibilities all of it was taken sometimes word for word from travel journals from that time period At first I felt that Emily s account though beautifully and cleverly written was not giving me any new insights or information However that very beauty and cleverness of writing the well researched 19th C voice gives insight into a character and perspective on vents that provoke reflection and understanding That first long section moves slowly and then vents and writing speed up to show the complexity of human interactions and stories and the impossibility of seeing facts clearly without a particular perspectiveCambridge refuses to be head driver because he says he doesn t want to be in charge of anyone and then a few sentences later is xplaining how a man s wife should be owned by him This comment on the diversity of oppression is pointed out uite subtly and is. S them to devastating ffect As a suspenseful and inescapably damning portrait of the schizophrenia of slavery Caryl Phillips's book belongs to the company of Beloved and The Confessions of Nat Turner. ,
Caryl Phillips ✓ 4 Summary,
Emily is a thirty year old SPINSTER SENT TO THE CARIBBEAN TO sent to the Caribbean to the state of her father s plantation After a treacherous sea voyage on which her maid dies Emily arrives to find that her father s plantation manager has "disappeared under mysterious circumstances and in his place "under mysterious circumstances and in his place the new plantation manager Arnold Brown Brown slowly seduces Emily who incurs the wrath of Brown s former slave mistress She soon begins to fear that Brown s former mistress is insane and her life may be in danger Meanwhile Brown s mistress husband a slave named Cambridge is also distressed He knows that Brown is using his wife whose mental state is delicate yet he is powerless to stop him Cambridge s anger at Brown grows when he learns that Brown is a brutal overseer who may have had a hand in murdering his predecessor When an attempt to confront Brown turns tragic Cambridge stands unjustly accused of Brown s murder I wanted to like this book but I couldn t I think because I couldn t shake the thought that the author was interested in making a point than telling a story It seemed almost that he tried too hard to put the reader into the time and place and the minds of the characters 35This book is a truly poignant and important narrative of the injustices and horrors of the slave trade with the use of the dual perspectives of Emily and Cambridge providing a searing juxtaposition and therefore weaving a subtle and ffective commentary on this historical moment Phillips xcels in description the richness and detail of his descriptive voice instantly transports the reader to the setting of the Carribean as filtered as the landscape is however through Emily s point of view Although written convincingly in the style of a historical journal through Phillips use of language the novel is still very readable and flowingHowever there are some xceptions to this flowing style The narrative of Cambridge is placed into the novel with no New Plant Parent: Learn the Ways of Plant Parenthood explanation of how it s arrived there in a book that was previously framed as Emily s journalntries The feverish uality of the final section leaves some confusion and an unsatisfying open Dreaming Me: An African-American Woman's Buddhist Journey ending that leaves you frustratingly feeling like you re missing something Overall though I would definitely recommend this book to someone interested in historical or postcolonial literature Reviewing months orven weeks after reading a book has a mildly distorting God's Pocket effect The mind latches on to those fireworklements their brightness seared into our memory although the accompanying smoke has blown
#away strangely with #Strangely with one there was very little that remained A burial at sea A bloody murder Looking at it again I do recall that the voices were convincingly rendered The story was a moving one Only I felt the main narrator was a clumsy device her coming as a stranger to this unspecified West Indian sugar plantation just after the abolition of the slave trade was a little too obvious a vehicle for some basic history lessons and her coming at all was hardly credible A nearly 30 year old single female sent by her father from England to inspect the source of his wealth What was he thinking This book wasn t ЯED entirelyasy to get through so thank God it was short The writing was undoubtedly good and I njoyed learning about an raworld that I was not previously familiar with But Phillips seemed to do little to keep the reader interested and invested I was assigned this book in college and recently realized that I never finished. A prim and increasingly apprehensive Englishwoman observing the peculiarities and barely veiled brutality of a sugar plantation in the nineteenth century West Indies A devout black slave whose profoun. .
It so I went back and re read it It s a complicated little book The vast majority of it is told in the little book The vast majority of it is told in the person from the perspective of the spinster daughter of an increasingly indebted British landowner She is sent to inspect his sugar plantation in the British West Indies and the majority of the novel is written in the form of her diary recording her The Lost Art of Reading Natures Signs experiences and hervolving and complex views on the slavery dependent plantation she finds herself the mistress of I found it a little odd that Phillips a black man chose to write a novel from the perspective of a white woman but he is a masterful mimic of a Jane Austen style heroine in the Moreno early 1800s Unfortunately he falls into the same habit Austen has of using pages and pages and pages to describe minute and dull social observations and then rushing way too fast through the major plot pointsThe most memorable part of the book for me was the 30 pages that were written in the first person by the aged slave Cambridge Hessentially writes out his life story which is fascinating and could have maybe should have been a novel unto itself His conversion to Christianity is a key plot point in his life story but it also makes this section a little preachy and overwrought But overall his story was Monsieur Pain engaging to me than most of the rest of the bookThat said Phillips paints a vivid and painful portrait of life on a sugar plantation in thearly 1800s and ultimately by the A Spark of Light: the fearless new novel from the Number One bestselling author end of the book I would argue that his feminist message comes across just as clearly if not clearly than his racial message Beautifully sustained No mere summary can do this story justice It must be read Set in 19th century in a British West Indies colony The narrator is a British woman of middle years who travels to the islands as a kind of naivethnographer of the plantation which her father owns By doing so she s forestalling her marriage to an appallingly geezer back in Merry England It s a tricky proposition to create this white British woman of her What If era and thrust her into a setting in which the keeping of slaves produces few ualms She rejects the island culture which lacks the social securities of life back home She can t abide thestate man Mr Brown and his obeah woman cum concubine who insists on sitting at the narrator s table uninvited She possesses sympathy but it only goes so far For The Exhaustion Breakthrough example she doesn t uestion the source of the luxurious meals sheats Everything depends on a small army of slaves yet she doesn t look into the brute logistics of it all She s in a strange half denial Eventually she comes to see the necessity of slavery in the West Indies for as long as it can survive in the face of American competition Slaves are necessary due to the severity of the climate which white men and draught animals can t The Exhaustion Breakthrough: Unmask the Hidden Reasons You're Tired and Beat Fatigue for Good endure She thinks of herself asnlightened but she s really only half an intellect She has ambitions of becoming a pro slavery lecturer based on her New World Supplemental Book experiences which consist of little than sitting around her father s sugarstate She is a portrait of complacency When Mr Brown is away the
#obeah woman comes #woman comes in the dirt outside the narrator s bedroom no doubt casting some spell And wait until you meet Cambridge the highly articulate freeman who like Solomon Northup was stolen into slavery That s the set up The author has a truly formidable skill for misdirection This book goes on the same shelf holding two other fine novels on slavery Charles R Johnson s Dly Christian sense of justice is about to cost him his life In Cambridge one of England's most highly acclaimed young novelists tells their stories with an uncanny authenticity of voice and juxtapose.