As a child, Harriet Jacobs remained blissfully unaware that she was a slave until the deaths of both her mother and a benevolent mistress exposed her to a sexually predatory master, Dr. Flint. Determined to escape, she spends seven years hidden away in a garret in her grandmother’s house, three feet high at its tallest point, with almost no air or light, and with only glimpses of her children to sustain her courage. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, she finally wins her battle for freedom by escaping to the North in 1842.
This book was incredible. I think the thing that struck me the most about this book, was the author's fairness. She knew that not every white southerner was evil, and not every white northerner was benevolent. She was able to capture the good in those people whose souls were essentially good in her eyes, even if their behavior was not always the most noble. Another aspect of the book took my particular notice, was her incredible story telling ability. Harriet had been blessed early on in life to live with her parents and was taught to read and write, she used this knowledge to help others throughout her life. This also instilled her with a love of learning, and she was able to improve herself to the point of being capable of writing this fascinating narrative. Another positive point, as the book is written after the author had gained her freedom, there was a wonderful underlying sense of hope. Throughout all of her trials, this selfless woman remained faithful to her family, as well as to herself. She was willing to stand up for her children because she knew that they had a right to respect and freedom solely based on the fact that they were human beings. I think this is a very important book for all to read, because again as I said, it is fair. She wasn't out to paint the people of the south as evil, she just wanted to share her story to help take down the institution of slavery. She doesn't shy away from describing many of the atrocities the people in her position had to bear, but she doesn't get to graphic or explicit. It is an accurate and judicious representation of the times, I recommend this book to all. I give this book a 1, Pay Full Price Guilt Free, it is a must read for everyone.
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