Tell Me Tuesday (19)

TellMeTuesday

Hosted by La La in the Library

Tell Me Tuesday is a feature devoted to letting people know what you’re reading ,what you read last, and what you plan on reading.

I haven’t actually been reading as much this past week as I would like to as I’ve been dealing with a hold host of issues that have kept my brain too tired to focus on words for very long.

Last Read

HighlandRaven

Highland Raven by Melanie Karsak – Goodreads

I adore Melanie Karsak’s books, and she has some amazing narrators for her audios that make them worthwhile. The fact that this focuses on Lady Macbeth before she ever became MacBeth’s wife is just fantastic. It deals with the Celtic gods and the on coming rise of Christianity in Scotland, and has a really nice mix of magic and fate at play. This checked off my “A fiction/nonfiction book about religion” on my Read Harder Challenge, as it deals with the struggle to hang on to the religion and culture of the Scottish people in the face of Christianity conversions.

TheUndergroundRailroad

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – Goodreads

This sometimes hard to read depiction of the Underground Railroad was an emotion driven look at the extreme nature of slavery in the US. The Railroad is an actual railroad in this, and much of the state’s laws are magnified and examined on a bigger scale to really show the human side of the narrative. This one probably won’t be for everyone. And it’s another tick mark on my Read Harder Challenge, this time for “A Historical Fiction Novel Set Before 1900”.

Currently Reading

DarkMatter

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch  – Goodreads

I really should have finished this already, so I’m going to focus on this as much as I can for the next week.

Homeland.jpg

Homeland by R.A. Salvatore – Goodreads

This is one of those fantasy novels that resides on the ever annoying “YOU HAVEN’T READ THAT? IT’S SO GOOD!” list. Anytime I say my favorite genre is epic fantasy, this trilogy pops up and I’m hit with a barrage of disbelief and book pushing. So I’ve started it for my Read Harder Challenge and will be for my “Book from the Decade You Were Born” item. It is pretty amazing so far, which is unsurprising. I’ve played a video game written by Salvatore and it is truly one of my favorites and I really like Dungeons & Dragons, so this has been very easy to slip into. I’ve only read a chapter a day since I started it but it’s good enough that I might use it to kick start my desire to read again.

Image | Posted on by | Tagged | 4 Comments

Review: The Underground Railroad by Colton Whitehead

TheUndergroundRailroad

Source: Library
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Series: –
Edition:
 Hardcover, 306 Pages
Genre:
 Historical Fiction/Alternate History 
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: 4/5

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all slaves, but Cora is an outcast even among her fellow Africans, and she is coming into womanhood; even greater pain awaits. Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her of the Underground Railroad and they plot their escape. Like Gulliver, Cora encounters different worlds on each leg of her journey.

Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors of black life in pre-Civil War America. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

The Underground Railroad is a book that I discovered on Litsy this past month and fit one of the challenges from the Read Harder Challenge from Book Riot so I decided to dive in.

This is my first Colton Whitehead book and I have to say I’m very impressed. The writing is beautiful and I think the more alternate moments in this were well done and really showed the extremes oft the time period. The fact that the Railroad takes on the physical manifestation of a a true railroad, hidden deep under the earth, really highlight the interconnection of the Railroad as well as the dangers to those operating it and how much work is involved in keeping the railroad running. We see the tireless work of those who maintain it and see the heaviness of the mystery of those who create and built it. The fact that time is spend describing the uncertainty and the terror involved with the escape, and less on the journey itself, brings in a more personal account to the story. We see Cora deal with the darkness of not knowing where she will end up and the fast paced escape that happens almost blindly in her terror. I think this book focuses more on the feelings involved during this time period and less on the physical true-ness of the acts. In some ways it does feel like it might diminish the amount of work involved in the Railroad and with those who fought to escape, but I feel that the heaviness of the emotion provided makes up for it.

The Underground Railroad is very much an account from a slave woman named Cora, as she grows tired of her bonds and makes her escape. It takes place in several places and we get to see the horrors and wonders of each new place that Cora visits. I really liked Cora, but I would have loved her more if this story had taken place through her eyes instead of 3rd person. This is a emotion heavy book, but having that ‘from a distance’ look sort of dampens the ability to connect with her.

I’m very happy I took a chance on this one. It’s hard to read at times but I definitely recommend it.

4 stars

 

 

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , | 2 Comments