I both loved and didn’t love this book. Mostly I loved it. It’s a very unique look at the life of a slave, who, without trying became a world traveler and brilliant marine biologist. I hope you enjoy by book review Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Washington Black was born a slave in Barbados on a sugar plantation. He both loves and fears Big Kit, the slave women who watches over him. From a very young age “Wash” is in the fields working alongside Big Kit. When the “Master” dies and his son arrives from London to take over the plantation, Wash and the other slaves lives change to a life of fear.
The new Master’s brother Christopher arrives for an unexpected visit when Wash is eleven and nothing will ever be the same. Christophe is an eccentric “scientist” fascinated with flight and chooses Wash as his personal assistant to both live with him and help him with his scientific work.
This relationship will define who Washington Black will become. Working next to Christopher Wild Wash will learn to read and write, will fly through the air in a hot air balloon contraption, will crash land and sail on from Barbados to the Arctic. Wash will also be the only witness to a suicide, and the resulting blame for the death will haunt him for his entire life. But Christopher takes him under his wing to protect him,
When Christopher abandons Wash, a third life will begin for the teen.
As Wash “survives”, his travels will continue from the Arctic to London where he will discover two things he loves; marine biology and a girl named Tanna. But always Wash can’t stop thinking about Christopher abandoning him when he was just a boy. And so Wash will search out his friend in the far reaches of Morocco.
More adventures than one boy could ever imagine make up the life of Washington Black…an unexpected life of a slave child from Barbados. Sometimes parts of this story seemed so far-fetched to me a scoffed at it, and yet Edugyan writing kept me wondering how this wild ride for this boy/man would end.
I hope you enjoyed my book review of Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.
****Four stars for Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.
See last week’s review of A Single Swallow by Zhang Ling
See our Reading Year in Review 2020-2021 here
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