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Libertie: A Novel – tekijä: Kaitlyn…

Libertie: A Novel (vuoden 2021 painos)

– tekijä: Kaitlyn Greenidge (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
16312129,158 (3.58)2
Teoksen nimi:Libertie: A Novel
Kirjailijat:Kaitlyn Greenidge (Tekijä)
Info:Algonquin Books (2021), 336 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Libertie (tekijä: Kaitlyn Greenidge)


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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 12) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Libertie: A Novel, Kaitlin Greenidge, author; Channie Waites, narrator
As a young girl, Libertie Sampson witnesses what she believes is her mother, Cathy, bringing a man, Ben-Daisy, back to life. Cathy, a doctor and free woman who was never a slave, is secretly helping to smuggle runaway slaves to safety. Her friend Elizabeth transports the escapees in coffins.
After the Civil War, when slaves are free, Cathy builds a hospital for “colored women”. She is well practiced in homeopathic treatments and begins to teach women about their anatomy, as well. She treats both black and white patients. Libertie does not understand why her mother does that, since white people treated them so poorly. Libertie never feels quite free, although she was never a slave. Her mother is light-skinned, but Libertie is dark.
Cathy has begun to train Libertie to be a doctor. When Libertie’s behavior and attitude lead her to believe that she has taught her as much as she can, she sends her away to school. Libertie interprets her mother’s actions with anger. She believes she is being turned out of her home. She feels that her mother has rejected and abandoned her and wants some kind of retribution. She is often headstrong and makes immature decisions. She harbors resentments. When she flunks out of school, she does not tell her mother. Instead, She blames her, seemingly unfairly, for many of her disappointments in life, and plots retaliation. She seems to want to hurt her. Yet every time she does, she also seems repentant, but is unable to admit it. Although she is bright and mature in many ways, she is naïve and immature in others.
After she returns home from school, to Kings County, in Brooklyn, NY, she meets her mother’s boarder, another doctor, Emmanuel Chase. They fall in love, and in spite of her mother’s objections, she insists on marrying him. Her mother feels betrayed by both of them and distances herself from Libertie, not speaking to her until the day she is married. In spite of her frustration and disappointment, she arranged the wedding.
Libertie moves to the island of Haiti with Emmanuel, hoping to finally feel free. What she discovers is that there, where they are all one color, there is still a hierarchy of color and class. Religion, spirits and superstition control behavior, there, as well as in New York. She is judged and falls short in the eyes of many. When she meets Emmanuel’s father, Bishop Chase, it is not a happy introduction. He is hurt because he was not consulted by his son before he married. He is rude and cold. Emmanuel’s letters explaining his marriage apparently never arrived. When she meets his twin sister, Ella, who is also rude and unfriendly, she realizes she is considered “mad”. She is angry, once again, because Emmanuel has been keeping secrets from her. She still does not feel entirely free, as she had hoped, although she begins to love the beauty of the island.
As more secrets are revealed and Emmanuel’s expectations become harder to fulfill, she grows somewhat uncomfortable with her situation. When she becomes pregnant, she begins to question the reasons for her marriage and the future her children will face. She begins to miss the mother she has forsaken and written to rarely. When a traveling entertainment troupe arrives, she hears her mother’s friends singing. Because of her advanced state of pregnancy, she could not attend the performance, but heard them through the window. She insists Emmanuel find them and invite them to their home. They offer her salvation and she makes decisions that will affect her going forward. As she matures, she begins to value family and love in different ways. As Libertie finally comes of age, she discovers that what was once important, no longer is, and what once seemed unnecessary is of immediate necessity now. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Jun 7, 2021 |
During the first half of the book, there were times when I really loved it. I particularly appreciated reading about the Civil War from this angle (not a plantation angle, and not a romantic angle either). Libertie's observations on life raised thought-provoking questions that had me feeling she must be going somewhere, figuring herself out as she comes of age.

My feelings went downhill after Libertie's college experience, though. Her life basically gets...worse. I stuck with the reading, waiting for what I figured Libertie had to discover, but she more or less ambles along without knowing herself.

By the end of the book, she still doesn't know. She makes a hard choice to move forward, but somehow she still seems lost. I found the ending abrupt and rather up in the air, without much truly settled.

No, I don't need all novels to have happy endings, nor do I need them to spoon-feed messages to me. But I still like to have a compelling takeaway after finishing a book, even if it's something I dug into the story and found for myself.

Perhaps this is a novel where something deeper about the point of it, something I'm missing, will occur to me later on. For now though, I'm not sure what I've gotten out of this overall. ( )
  NadineC.Keels | May 6, 2021 |
I struggled at times with this book, but it was well worth the effort and while I may not have entirely enjoyed reading it, I know I will think about it for a long time. Libertie is the daughter of a Black, female doctor living in the North during and after the Civil War. Libertie's mother wants her daughter to become a doctor and provides her with medical training and encourages her to go on to college. Libertie, however, wants something different in life and struggles with her mother's expectations. I loved that this novel presented unique characters which often feel like they transcend their time - a vivid Black community, a Black female doctor, college-educated women - and these characters make me think this book will be featured on recommended booklists for some time to come. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Apr 30, 2021 |
Pandemic read. Fascinating book based in part on a historic figure (Libertie's mother, that is, who was based on Dr. Susan Smith McKinney-Steward, the third African American woman to earn a medical degree in this country.) There was so muchI learned about the times, and it was nice to see Homeopathy in practice. The second part of the book, where Libertie marries and moves to Haiti was not as satisfying to me-- a bit too gothic, but all in all, a good read. ( )
  bookczuk | Apr 13, 2021 |
Kaitlyn Greenidge's Libertie has its origins in the story of a Black, female doctor, working in a northern Black community during the civil war. Libertie doesn't, however, focus on this woman—or a fictional version of her. It focuses, instead, on Libertie, the imagined daughter of such a women: young, angry, intelligent, unwilling to give herself over to anyone's expectations, living a life that offers her freedoms unusual for a girl of her time but also places significant limitations on her.

The characters of Libertie and her physician mother are interesting, but what really drove the book for me were the conflicts and challenges facing free Blacks during this period. In what ways are Blacks born into freedom able to understand the lives and experiences of Blacks born into slavery? How does color—degree of lightness or darkness—affect the opportunities open to individuals? Is it a betrayal if Libertie's mother also accepts white women as patients and hangs a curtain dividing the waiting room to keep the two groups of women separate? In what ways do men fail to see them limitations placed on women at that time, even men who believe they're committed to an equal partnership? These questions also extend beyond the border of the U.S. What are the relative values of staying in the U.S. to fight for rights or moving elsewhere—to Haiti or Liberia—to build a Black nation? And to what extent would such a nation offer real equality to its different castes of citizens?

I began reading Libertie for the narrative, but what really propelled me through the novel were the questions it forced me to reckon with. One can read Libertie as a semi-romantic historical novel, but one can also read it as an invitation to imagine and weigh the social conflicts and challenges of another time.

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher; the opinions are my own. ( )
  Sarah-Hope | Apr 9, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 12) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Kudos to the writer of this book. You did an amazing job. Why don't you try to join NovelStar's writing competition? You might win a prize, judging from the book I just read.
lisäsi AnnasThesia | muokkaaLibraryThing.com, Annas Thesia
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