Throwback Thursday: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

This weekly feature is hosted by Renee (Its Book Talk). Throwback Thursday offers a way to share some of our old favorites as well  as sharing books that we are finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago.


About the Book

negroes 2Abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom―and of the knowledge she needs to get home. Sold to an indigo trader who recognizes her intelligence, Aminata is torn from her husband and child and thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan, Aminata helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. There Aminata finds a life of hardship and stinging prejudice. When the British abolitionists come looking for “adventurers” to create a new colony in Sierra Leone, Aminata assists in moving 1,200 Nova Scotians to Africa and aiding the abolitionist cause by revealing the realities of slavery to the British public. This captivating story of one woman’s remarkable experience spans six decades and three continents and brings to life a crucial chapter in world history.


The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill is my book club’s book of the month. I just feel so honored to have had the opportunity to read this powerful book.

This is the story of Aminata, a young African girl stolen from her home and sold into slavery. Right from the first chapter, this begins as quite an emotional read. The raid that led to Aminata’s abduction was heartbreaking. I immediately knew that the book would cause havoc to my emotions but I couldn’t have anticipated just how much.

The story is narrated through Aminata’s perspective and takes place over decades. We get to see Aminata from her childhood to her old age. She goes through unimaginable horrors in her life. At some point, I kept wondering when it would end. I wanted things to change but they just kept worsening. However, this is sadly based on reality. Slavery didn’t last a few years, it went on for centuries. It is estimated that it took place for 300 years before abolition so for many black people that was life. There were no happy ending. I imagine that many were born in captivity and actually died without a taste of freedom. Aminata’s story portrays these painful realities through this book.

The book is quite well written and has an easy flow that I found quite addictive. I couldn’t stop reading it once I got started. It took me about four days and I was reading at every chance. The author did a brilliant job with the imagery and descriptions. I was transported to that era and I could picture everything that was going on. The book does have a lot of shocking scenes. One that still stands out for me involved a revolt. I don’t know if it’s the portrayal or the events themselves but that scene still haunts me. I still recall it so vividly that it feels like I was right there on the ship watching the horror unfold.

As you can probably guess, this is isn’t an easy read. It’s the kind of book that will break your heart time and time again but you won’t be able to stop reading. The book is inspired by true events based on the author’s research. Reading it made me think of slavery and the cruelty of humans. What in the world makes people do things like that? News reports indicate that slavery has re-emerged. I have seen images of slave trade in Libya. Seriously, it is 2017 and we are still talking about slavery. My faith in humanity is constantly being tested.

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill has made it to my list of favorites. It’s a book that I recommend to everyone. Aminata Diallo’s story demands to be read. Hers is a story about strength, perseverance and of course, suffering. Aminata is a protagonist that you can’t just read about and forget. Seriously, you are missing out by not reading this amazing book.

book of negroes

I watched the TV series immediately after reading the book. The casting was superb. I especially liked the two actresses who played the role of Aminata. However, the series had so many major detail changes from the book. “You should have written your own damn story then.” That is what I was screaming at the screen the entire time. Still a good show though and easy to follow especially once you have read the book.

Throwback Thursday: I’m thinking of ending things by Iain Reid

This weekly feature is hosted by Renee,(Its Book Talk). Throwback Thursday offers a way to share some of our old favorites as well  as sharing books that we are finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago.

About the book

ending thingsYou will be scared. But you won’t know why…

I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. It’s always there. Always.

Jake once said, “Sometimes a thought is closer to truth, to reality, than an action. You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can’t fake a thought.”

And here’s what I’m thinking: I don’t want to be here.

In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.


I have had this book on my shelf for over a year now. I finally had a chance to read it recently and it was quite an experience.

This is a story about Jake and his girlfriend (whose name I am not sure we were ever told). In this story, the couple is on a road trip to visit Jake’s parents. The girlfriend, who is the narrator, explains that she is thinking of ending things. However, she still wants to go and meet Jake’s parents.

The entire road trip was filled with discussions between the two. They discussed everything from exes, IQ, past experiences. I guess that is how a normal road trip would be with different discussions. I’ll admit though, I didn’t quite follow everything that they were saying.The tension rose when the couple got to the family home. I had so many questions. I think these questions are the reasons why I kept reading this book. I wanted to find out how the story would end.

However, I was so confused by the story-line. I kept rereading the blurb. I even paused in the middle of the story and read other reviews(something that I have never done before). I then went on YouTube to see what I was missing. This may sound odd but the other reviews made me more excited about the book than the story itself. Reviewers mentioned being afraid by mid-story, others mentioned how dark the plot was so I had to keep reading to find out for myself. Unfortunately, I didn’t have similar experiences at all. I wasn’t scared…just confused.


confused cruise


This ended up being a bit of a weird reading experience for me . To make it worse, I didn’t get the ending. I don’t think I did anyway. The book is described as a smart, literary thriller. If this is a genre that you like then perhaps this one will be for you.


Confession: I also didn’t understand the movie Inception. Yeah, I can finally admit it, I didn’t get that one either.- end of confession.


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Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Did you get the ending?  I have my suspicions but its very likely that I am wrong.

Throwback Thursday: Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard


This weekly feature is hosted by Renee,  (Its Book Talk). Throwback Thursday offers a way to share some of our old favorites as well  as sharing books that we are finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago.

Distress Signals.jpgAbout the Book

The day Adam Dunne’s girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads “I’m sorry–S” sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate–and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before.

To get answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground.


Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard is a suspenseful, fast-paced thriller with tension escalating right from the first page. The prologue begins with Adam in the ocean. I was immediately drawn to the narrative and wanted to find out what had happened. Why was he in the waters?

The story is narrated through alternating POVs. There are different story-lines cleverly intertwined with the main narrative with Adam as the main narrator. When readers first meet him, he seems like an ordinary guy at the verge of a career breakthrough. However, his life is soon turns upside down when his girlfriend, Sarah, fails to come home after a business trip.

There is another narrator who I shall not name. Let me just say that their narration was dark, chilling and yet very compelling. I looked forward to this narration with a mixture of anxiety and anticipation. Have you ever felt your heart beat change when you encounter a fictional character? I mean, my heart raced a bit  when I got to the darker narrations and tension went up.

This was a captivating read and I enjoyed all the reveals. I liked the fact that I couldn’t predict any of the twists. I literally had no idea where the story was heading. I liked the details about maritime law although they made me fearful of cruise ships. I enjoyed how the author interspersed details about the crime and the setting with the ongoing mystery of the disappearing women.

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard is the perfect thriller. It has everything that makes me enjoy this genre. I have no doubt that fans of this genre will love this book!

Throwback Thursday: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This weekly feature is hosted by Renee (Its Book Talk). Throwback Thursday offers a way to share some of our old favorites as well  as sharing books that we are finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago.

About the Book

OveA grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.


Once in a while, you read a book that brings characters into your life and makes you feel like they are real people that you actually know and not just works of fiction. This was my experience with Ove. I never knew my grandparents because they died when I was young but Ove made me miss them.

A Man Called Ove begins by introducing us to an old, grumpy man called Ove. Ove sure is mean and surly. Forgive me, but I really didn’t like Ove when I first met him. I even wondered why I was reading a book about such a mean old man. However, the author soon sneaked Ove into my heart. The more that I got to know about him, the more I warmed up to him. Reading about him, I found myself laughing, smiling and a bit teary at some point.




This is a story about Ove, a man going through a hard time that makes him seem cranky until you get to know him. I dare you to read this story and not warm up to him. Honestly, Ove is one of the most endearing characters that I have ever come across in a book. I loved reading about him and getting to know his complex, sometimes misunderstood but wonderful personality. I also enjoyed getting to know everyone who came into his life. This was such a heartwarming story that I definitely recommend to everyone.

Happy Women’s Day!


Throwback Thursday: The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini



This weekly feature is hosted by Renee, (Its Book Talk). Throwback Thursday offers a way to share some of our old favorites as well  as sharing books that we are finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago.

Kite Runner.jpgThe Kite Runner

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.


The Kite Runner is about friendship, kinship, love and the effects of war. It tells the story of a friendship between two boys. Hassan and Amir have an odd master-servant relationship yet they were still friends. However, events occur that put this friendship to the test.

The Kite Runner will have you laughing and crying. The book is so well written and captivating. I also liked the fact that it is set in Afghanistan. It helped me learn more about the country.  Through Hosseini’s narrative, I saw Kabul with its rich culture, beautiful architecture and family bonds. I also learned about Kite running.


SPLENDID sUNSA thousand Splendid Suns

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them – in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul – they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.


I thought The Kite runner was moving but A Thousand Splendid Suns exceeded my expectations. It is a beautiful and emotional story.  This book is about Mariam and Laila, two women from different worlds who were brought together by the war in Afghanistan. One woman’s life is filled with so much tragedy; it will bring tears to your eyes. The other woman knows tragedy too but there is a happy ending for her. Depending on how you choose to look at it, you may actually conclude that both women had a happy ending.

The story mainly tackles the issue of gender imbalance and mistreatment of women in Afghanistan especially during the Taliban rule. Even before the Taliban rule, young girls were forcefully married off; women were punished for conceiving out of wedlock, men even dictated what women wore. There are other themes in the story. One that really stood out for me was love. I read this book a few years ago but it has definitely stayed with me.


mOUNTAINS eCHOED.jpgAnd the Mountains Echoed
In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.


And the Mountains Echoed is a wonderful read also set in Afghanistan but I didn’t like it as much as the other two books by Khaled. I can’t even remember much about it. However, Khaled’s writing and storytelling is so amazing that I still recommend all his three books.


Have you read any book by Khaled Hosseini? Let me know which one.