Because our refrigerator is still disabled, and because lately I am falling behind in my book reviews, I have decided to start Book Review Sunday. Each Sunday, my blog post will not have any recipes, but will feature current and past book reviews. If you are only here for the recipes, cheer up! I have cookbooks that need to be reviewed. : )
|Publisher:||Flaming Chalice Press|
|Pub Date:||December 17, 2010|
|Category:||FICTION - ADULT: Historical & Biographical: Historical|
Mattie was never truly mine. That knowledge must have filled me as quickly and surely as the milk from her breasts. Although my family ‘owned’ her, although she occupied the center of my universe, her deepest affections lay elsewhere. So along with the comfort of her came the fear that I would lose her some day. This is our story...
Thus begins Laila Ibrahim's novel, set in pre-Civil War Virginia, the intertwined fates of Laila Wainwright, the daughter of a slave owner, and Mattie, her wet nurse. Their story begins when Mattie is torn from her own child in the slave quarters to live in the main house of the plantation to care for newborn Laila. Although their relationship is almost that of mother and child, they live in two very separate worlds.
Because I have always had an interest in the antebellum South and the social chasm that divided it, I eagerly anticipated reading this novel. Ms. Ibrahim seems to have a good understanding of the social mores of the time. Laila's journey to self-awareness is the main theme of the book. As a small child, she is confused by the attitude of her parents toward Mattie and the other slaves, but as she grows older, she seems to become immune to the indifference and even begins to adopt the mannerisms of the adults around her. It is only when she is on the brink of adulthood that she sees the true cruelty of the institution of slavery. The only real complaint I have is in the latter part of the book. The chapters dealing with Laila's marriage become choppy and feel unfinished at times. Also, the ending felt as though it lacked closure, in my opinion at least.
Overall, the novel was an enjoyable read and was a good portrayal of the conflict between morality and the popular opinion of the day..
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley®.com <http://www.netgalley.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”