Thursday, December 1, 2016
Book Review: "The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead
I really didn't know much about what was in this book. I know that there was instant buzz thanks to Oprah putting this on her book club list and bumping up it's publication date. I knew that the hold list at the library instantly skyrocketed. And I knew that this story of escaping slavery involved a literal underground railroad - as in like a major subway that crossed state lines bringing fugitives to the safe(r) North.
I did know enough to expect graphic brutality depicted in these scenes, as this is of course about slavery. And Whitehead brings it unflinchingly. I'll admit that some of it was hard to read, emotionally speaking, but I'm glad I did. I was dialed into Cora's plight from the beginning. The narrative is always third person, but changes the character of focus from section to section. Sometimes the sections move around on the timeline a little too, which could have been confusing but really just made me feel a deeper connection to the characters.
This is an important book, one that will stay with me for a long time to come.
The Underground Railroad
by Colson Whitehead