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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(3 star)show all reviews
on July 10, 2015
Watched series - did not want to go over content again - very sad
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on February 15, 2015
Not as good as I had hoped it would be -- took to skimming towards the end.
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on January 11, 2015
This novel deserved better writing. Where was the editor? The style is so simple as to be boring. In addition, there are aspects to the story which are difficult to believe. This could have been a great novel; I enjoyed reading about the history of Canadians of African origin. I just wish it had been written well....
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2009
The scope of this novel is enormous, from African village life, to the slave trade, the war of independence, the early days of settlement in Nova Scotia, the founding of Sierre Leone and the abolitionist movement in Great Britain. Given this scale it is not surprising that many of the characters lack development and are not very convincing. Also, when writing in the first person it is always difficult for a male to convincingly portray a female, and it is especially so placing oneself in the world of slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries, not to mention spanning childhood to old age. Lawrence Hill has done a good job of melding a solid story with historical events and it is a fine read, but it is not the great work of literature that many of the reviews claim. If compared, for example, to Barry Unsworth's novel "Sacred Hunger", founded on events on a slave ship, it falls far short of reaching the same standard. As mentioned above, only the lead character is really developed to the point where the reader cares about them at all, and even Aminata could have been made much more interesting. I simply never felt the pain that one would expect from a survivor of such horrors. The sections dealing with her children are particularly flimsy, as is her late attempt at going home. The most convincing section is the one dealing with her abduction and forced march to the slaving port.

A good enough novel and a solid weekend read, but do not expect to be blown away.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2009
Based on everything I'd heard, I had high expectations for this one. The story itself is a great one but the writing has left me a underwhelmed. The language seems geared toward a young or inexperienced reader, and doesn't have the depth to fully transport me.

Crystal Clear: The Inspiring True World Record Survival Story of How A Former Professional, Olympic and World Champion Ice Hockey Player Lost His Legs Due to Frostbite and Found a Better Life
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2009
Based on everything I'd heard, I had high expectations for this one. The story itself is a great one but the writing has left me a underwhelmed. The language seems geared toward a young or inexperienced reader, and doesn't have the depth to fully transport me.

Still, it's worth reading for the historical perspective. This story illuminates an important part of our heritage that has for too long been overlooked, ignored or buried.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2009
This is an interesting enough book, but it falls into the trap so often found when Black writers want to create Black heroes - the protagonist is so flawless as to be unbelievable. This is a flaw that detracts greatly from this interesting book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2009
Disappointingly shallow.
The book was an easy read and a classic "poor girl makes good through a series of unlikely coincidences" page turner.
It piqued my interest but I felt that subject matter like this deserved better.
A beach novel, nothing more.
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