I can't tell you how much I loved this book.   As someone descended on my father's side from the African slave trade this book really spoke to me. 

One of the things I liked was that although Ms Gregory doesn't gloss over the brutality that the slaves endured nor does she belittle it or trivialise it a the same time she doesn't dwell on it, she doesn't leave you believing that the violence and cruelty are all that the slaves are about, yes they suffered, yes they were mistreated but the book doesn't leave you with the impression of broken destroyed people who had nothing at the end of it. As people they aren't defined by the ill treatment.

In fact the book leaves you with a sense of just how strong and determined the slaves were, determined to survive, to move on and to build a new life. And for me that was a positive thing. 

I also liked that Ms Gregory shines the light on the slave trade in England, that is very often totally ignored and the concentration is usually on America,  but England did have a slave trade and made a lot of money from it before Wilberforce campaigned against it.

The gentle love story between the frustrated Francis Scott and Mahuru was I imagine supposed to be the focus of the book but I suppose because of my own history and leanings I didn't find myself getting too absorbed in it.  In some ways it was refreshing as the love story is usually supposed to be between the man and the slave girl.
I did also like the fact that the book reveals a snippet of information that a lot of English people don't realise in that people of black African origin remained in the UK after slavery was abolished and built lives, married into the population and had children here long long before the emigrations from the West Indies of the 1950's and '60's


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