The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill Book Review


Goodreads Summary:Abducted 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

My Rating:4/5 stars

My Thoughts:


The Book of Negroes follows the story of Aminata Diallo who at the young age of 9 is taken away from her small village of Bayo, and sold in slavery. From Africa, she is brought to South Carolina, then New York, and is then granted passage to Nova Scotia as black loyalist. Aminata journey is a long one and one that some people might find dragged out, This isn’t a book filled with action,or intrigue, and so some people might find it boring, but The Book of Negroes is a very important book. It’s a story that doesn’t often get told in popular literature, and one that needs to be told more frequently.In this book, Lawrence Hill vividly depicts Aminata’s life as a slave, and brings to a light a part of history that is different from the usual historical fiction While of course we all know about the slave trade, I’ve seen few books describe it with such vividness and candor.People oftentimes like to pin the blame on the 13 colonies, but everyone was a part of the slave trade. I especially like the fact that Hill talked about Canada’s involvement in this area, and talked about the racism that follows Aminata wherever she went. Reading The Book of Negroes makes me want to read more diverse Historical Fiction, because these stories really need to be told.


Aminata is such a strong and amazing character and just I really loved her. She kept on going,and pushed through every hardship that came her way. I loved how she used her smarts to get her way through life, and she was an amazingly resourceful character. There were three types of characters in this book:characters you loved,characters you hated,and characters you loved then hated. There were some characters who were pure and helped Animata to the best of their ability, and then of course there were the people who were awful to her.And then my least favorite type of character:the ones who betrayed her. You had some characters who were generous and kind, and then just became total assholes.It was heartbreaking to see Animata being betrayed time and time again.But despite everything,she survived and she persevered.

Have you read the Book of Negroes?What do you think?Do you have any recs for Diverse Historical Fiction?Let me Know in the comments below!



4 thoughts on “The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill Book Review

  1. I’ve had in the back of my mind that I wanted to read a Lawrence Hill book; especially after seeing both this title and The Illegal being defended on (and won) Canada Reads! Wonderful commentary on the variety of characters you meet in this story that sounds like it’s written with precision and grounded in the realities of every day human nature.

    Thank you for writing this review and bringing this story back into recent memory!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: January Wrap-Up | The Book Thief Without Words

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