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Remembrance – tekijä: Rita Woods

Remembrance (vuoden 2020 painos)

– tekijä: Rita Woods (Tekijä)

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964226,123 (3.59)2

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näyttää 4/4
Remembrance is a historical, magical realism novel about four women and their connection for hope in the future and a place called Remembrance.
The novel is mostly set in Pre Civil War and follows two slaves, Abigail and Margot on their way to freedom, and Winter, a baby Abigail saves. Gaelle’s story is set in present day as she cares for an older woman who isn’t quite what she seems.
Rita Woods has the best descriptive writing style I have read in a long time. Even after finishing the book I can still see scenes and settings vividly as if I was just reading about them. I was thrown back into 1790’s Haiti and later 1850’s New Orleans. Alongside the settings written in the novel, Woods does an amazing job writing rich, strong women characters who pull the reader in.
The weakest story arc though was Gaelle. She starts off strong at the beginning but fizzles out quickly. Her story was more of a story telling than it was described to me as the other women were and because of that I didn’t really care for her as a character. Though I know she was used to tie things together in the end, I felt like she either needed more story or to be taken out completely.
Overall, I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes historical fiction. Even if you don’t read this time period often - as it was for me. I would even recommend this to anyone that’s skeptical of the magical realism aspect of it. The magic is a part of the characters but they’re all so much more than that. The stories in this novel are full of tragedy, heartbreak, survival, bravery, determination, and hope. This book is staying on my shelf for another future read.

*Thank you Bookishfirst and Forge for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review ( )
  oldandnewbooksmell | Sep 24, 2021 |
Not my "normal" go to book, but am I ever glad I went! You won't be disappointed! Slavery, voodoo, past/present, sorcery - Remembrance has it all and more! I let someone borrow my copy (ARC - thank you!) and I fear it will never return...I am confident whoever's got it "next" will enjoy it as much as I did. ( )
  KimD66 | May 25, 2020 |
First of all, a huge thanks to Bookish First for an ARC of this book; I actually used the points I had saved up to request this book versus winning it. As soon as I saw the cover I was intrigued and then once I read the synopsis I was hooked. This book is one of many new books for this year and the very very end of last year that discusses the African and African-American experience specifically thought the Atlantic Slave Trade and slavery in the French-speaking countries and colonies of the Caribbean. I am excited to see more of these sorts of novels and narratives coming to light and am especially taken with their science fiction/fantasy spins on them. At the end of last year, I read The Deep and it too has that same overarching slavery-based narrative with an interesting science fiction/fantasy twist.

This novel follows three different storylines scattered throughout history but that eventually connect back together. I love the idea of connecting histories and stories and it works perfectly for this book.

Gaelle is a current-day woman who has lost the majority of her family after the destructive earthquake in Haiti and has made a life and home for herself in Ohio. She works at an elderly care facility and is especially taken with one elderly African-American woman who never speaks, never moves, and never has visitors. The facility managers and caretakers don't even know her name. One day while on duty, Gaelle sees a dark and shadowy man in the woman's room and she learns that he calls her Winter. Gaelle seems to always be extremely warm, to the point where if she concentrates hard enough things will burst into flames.
Margot is a young house slave in New Orleans with her sister Veronique and her mother. As plague, fevers, and disease wreak havoc upon the city, the family she is owned by and works for must flee to their country home called Far Water. While there, the patriarch of the family stays behind in the city and eventually succumbs to the disease. Debt collectors visit the family home at Far Water daily but when the debt must finally be paid, the family is forced to sale young Margot and Veronique. They are taken with a fight and moved to a much smaller family with less care than previous. Margot realizes that she has an innate ability to sense the particles that makeup things. With her ability, she can essentially infiltrate nearly anything and make it change its inherent structures.
Abigail is a house slave in Haiti who begins to notice changes happening amongst the other slaves on the island. Within days, the historic Haitian Slave Revolts begin and Abigail is forced to leave the island with the family, leaving her own sons behind. Prior to her forced departure, Abigail watches as her husband is burned alive for his part in the revolts. They arrive in New Orleans and eventually to the family's new home where Abigail tries to make a life without her own family and without knowing the fate of her sons. Overcome with stress and sadness, Abigail leaves the family and escapes into the bayou with the help of two strangers that follow her in the city, Simone and Josiah. While there, they teach her the ways of religions and spiritual work that supplements her own natural abilities. Abigail, or Mother Abigail as she is later called, has the ability to warp spacetime. With her abilities, she warps time and space to create a safe haven for Africans on the Underground Railroad, called Remembrance. One day, Abigail finds a baby tucked under the dead and frozen mother's body; she names her Winter. They live at Remembrance and help others on the Underground Railroad seek safety.
This book has soooo much going on in it, at first it seems like it would be nearly impossible to keep it all straight and understand what is happening but honestly, that is not the case at all. Because this book is so well written and the concepts are nicely thought out, those three storylines, as well as the other characters all, mesh together so well. How they each spill over and influence others was perhaps my favorite part of this book. Seeing how this is done and how the characters come to realize it is so much fun to read.

The overall concept of connecting storylines and characters was really what drew me in. I also read that the author got the idea for this book after she saw something on quantum mechanics! I think that little personal story about how this book's ideas came into fruition is so amazing and I loved how those scientific ideas just leached right into this book in so many ways. This book and its multiple plot lines just feel so smart and intelligent, and well-done on so many levels.

The confluence of so many strong women was really what drew me into this book. I was excited that three different women's storylines would be represented in this book, each offering a different view of the atrocity of slavery. Books like this are important and need to be read more widely because it speaks upon several topics. First, how awful, dehumanizing, and degrading slavery was. There is a point in this book where a white character is offered the chance to think about what makes people of color the go-to selection for a slave. I like that this book is not afraid to make some bold comments and ask some serious questions that need to be brought to life more often. Secondly, this book highlights how strong and resilient women are and what lengths they will go through to protect what is theirs. I especially loved that all the strong women in this book were African, African-American, or black; we need more books that showcase what horrible things women just like the characters in this book have gone through and how resilient the can be. And thirdly, I am so glad that this book discusses covertly the lasting AND CURRENT effects and ideas of colonialism and slavery. This is something that gets glossed over and plenty of people believe that once the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, slavery ending. That may politically be the case, but slavery continued on for years afterward and the mental, social, physical, financial, and emotional effects of slavery are still felt today and sadly, could be continued into the future. The general population does not realize how horrible slavery was and is, not just in terms of what these kidnapped peoples had to go through and endure but what their descendants still have to encounter and deal with today.

I will volunteer that I am a highly educated white cis-female rooted in the American South living a privileged life, so I have no idea what being African-American, black, or a person of color is like or entails. While I have no first-hand personal experience of those things, I am so glad that there are Own Voices books out there that allow me to read into these things and broaden my perspectives. I cannot get over how important a book like this is to read and share and I hope that you take something from this review to heart and buy/borrow/read this book! ( )
1 ääni renee7687 | Feb 9, 2020 |
I struggled a bit with this story, trying to keep the three timelines straight. There were a lot of characters to keep track out. As a result, I never felt a connection to any of the characters, except perhaps a bit with Abigail because of the horrors she encountered and her role throughout the rest of the story. This book is a blend of historical fiction and the supernatural, which makes perfect sense with the Haiti and New Orleans settings. I thought the present-day portion of the book was the weakest part. I understand the purpose of that portion, but it was weakly developed, unlike the other two portions.

It isn’t until a little over 100 pages into the story when it is revealed that Remembrance is a place – a sanctuary for blacks who have escaped slavery. It was at this point that I really became interested in the story.

I look forward to reading more by Rita Woods. If you are a fan of Octavia Butler (I certainly am), I think you will enjoy this book.

I received an Advance Reading Copy of “Remembrance” from the Forge, the publisher (Forge). All opinions expressed here are solely mine. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Jan 24, 2020 |
näyttää 4/4
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (1 mahdollinen)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Rita Woodsensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Schuck, MaryKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
To the men in my life: Kenneth, Jonathan, and Logan, who tolerated chaos, tears, and takeout for longer than I care to admit.

And to Serenity, my baby girl, who asked every morning and every night, "How's your story going?"
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
"How do I look?"

Gaelle glanced up from the mayi moulen she was spooning into Rose's mouth. Her grandmother stood fidgeting in the kitchen doorway.
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

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