my challenges

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Yellow Crocus

Yellow Crocus, by Laila Ibrahim.

This book follows the lives of a young slave woman and the child she is chosen to nurse from birth and then to act as the child's nursemaid for many additional years.  We suffer the young woman's pain at being separated from her own young son and her husband, enjoy her growing bond with her charge, worry with her over whether she or one of her family will be sold or lent out, causing further and possibly permanent separation, and swell with pride at her dangerous efforts to obtain education and knowledge (through subterfuge) for her children and the other slaves.

At the same time we feel the grief of a toddler torn from her nurse, with whom she is closer than with her own family, her joy at their reunion, her delight in learning, her discomfort with her biological family and the expectations and constraints of southern society, her worry over the fate of her nursemaid, and ultimately the joy and relief of her rebellion and her ultimate reunion with her nursemaid under completely changed circumstances.

This book is an effective and moving social commentary on the evils of slavery, the shackles placed on women in pre-civil war southern society, and the danger of bucking the system.  It is also a rip-roaring good story including plenty of drama, cultural flavor, interesting characters, and romance.

I found this book to be a delightful and quick read, a book it was impossible to put down once you picked it up.  I wholeheartedly recommend it.  5 out of 5.

 I received an electronic review copy of this book from the publisher.  This did not affect this review.

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