Book: The Book of Negroes
Author: Lawrence Hill
Pages read: 438-470
Since our last Reading Reflection, I have managed to complete my book, The Book of Negroes. Before reading it, I had basically heard how amazing a story it is, from anyone who saw me with it. Now I too, can say the same. It’s one of those books, where if things don’t turn out in the end for the main character, it leaves you feeling a little sad. Aminata Diallo just becomes such an admirable character, as she tells us her life story.
In the last few pages Aminata is reunited with her daughter, May, who has basically been kidnapped by someone she’d trusted, years ago. I was really surprised by that. I supposed that if I really thought it through, as a reader, I could’ve figured that out long before the fact. Only I did not at all predict that. I really thought she was long gone, and the two would never be reunited. It was a really nice surprise to read, in a way, knowing that even though she didn’t return to her village of Bayo, something has been rewarded after all she lived through. This made me think of karma. Surely, Aminata’s entire life had been devoted of her very own survival, which makes it almost hard to believe that good karma exists – until then.
On another note, during a discussion about slavery with a white man, Aminata tells him they had an expression in her village, “beware the clever man who makes wrong look right.” When reading the expression, so many words come to mind: trust, dishonesty, cruelty, justice, disappointment. It would be nearly impossible to go your entire life without trusting a sole person. However, we never really know who is genuine in their means, and who is only in it for themselves. It can be dangerous putting your confidence in others, when there are so many ways to interpret situations, and when this are so easily twisted. I really like that expression. I find it to be a good caution to take, reminding us not to be too naive.