A Million Nightingales

A Million NightingalesFrom National Book Award Finalist Susan Straight Comes A Haunting Historical Novel About A Louisiana Slave Girl S Perilous Journey To Freedom.Daughter Of An African Mother And A White Father She Never Knew, Moinette Is A House Maid On A Plantation South Of New Orleans At Fourteen She Is Sold, Separated From Her Mother Without A Chance To Say Goodbye Bright, Imaginative And Well Aware Of Everything She Risks, Moinette At Once Begins To Prepare For An Opportunity To Escape Inspired By A True Story, A Million Nightingales Portrays Moinette S Experience And The Treacherous World She Must Navigate With Uncommon Richness, Intricacy, And Drama. In this book even than ever, Susan Straight creates a palette of physical details hair, bone, ink, bodily fluids that in turn create a world In this case, it s French Louisiana in the early 1800s, where a young biracial slave uses her considerable wits to rise from powerlessness to relative freedom I loved how she was something of a scientist in a time when science barely existed, always wondering about the natural world The novel reminded me a bit of Toni M
Susan Straight s A Million Nightingales is the story of Moinette, a young teen with a white father and an African mother who is sold at the age of 14 to another slave owner The novel takes place during the Antebellum era of the old South.I m ashamed to say that I discarded this novel about mid way through I just didn t find it captivating or original, especially when compared to other novels on similar subject matters by Alice Walker and Toni Morrison Although there are many possible plots for novels of the Antebellum era, I didn t feel as if this particular slave girl novel was interesting enough to stick out.Straight s style in writing protagonist Moinette s voice is simplified to a degree that allows us to better hear and understand this character however, the writing is so simplified that I failed to see the story as anything other than bland
This is an interior novel that would work very well as an audio book Perhaps I think that because I heard the author read a short passage from it and her rendering was very moving At times I could still hear the author s voice while I was reading Maybe I think it because some of the connections the narrator makes in her somewhat stream of consciousness telling might not sound as repetitive in an audio as they sometimes look to be on the page But that is a minor issue Moinette s story loosely based on court records that the author found that deal with a free woman of color buying her son is told with admirable empathy and was one I wanted to come back to when I had to put it down Being from Louisiana, I found it interesting and important from a historical viewpoint Much as with Holocaust stories, there may already be many fict
I tore through this book faster than any novel in a long time It s a glimpse into the complexity of slavery in the US.I found myself thinking about the characters and the prose even when I wasn t reading I love Susan Straight s writing style, character development, and subtlety. This novel was an emotional journey for me I can t accurately put into words how I felt while reading it At times I felt inspired by the characters, at other times I felt betrayed by the author However, I do understand the author s choices for the characters since life has never been fair to anyone, let alone to slaves in 1800s Louisiana.What I most love about this novel is what I ve come to realize that I love about all of Ms Straight s writings, is the sense of genuineness I feel whenever I read one of her books While reading this book for my MA dissertation no less, I felt transported to that time period of history, I found myself adapting the way of thinking and completely immersed in the novel Hence the red weeping eyes and puffy nos
This book just about broke my heart To live a life so fettered emotionally, physically, intellectually must be intolerable, but to add the loss of anyone and anything meaningful in your life has to be unbearable Yet Moinette, our heroine in the truest sense of the word, continues on in spite of al
Straight up, this book does it in ways that only In A Million Nightingales, her fifth novel, Susan Straight achieves parity with the writing that made Toni Morrison one of my top three most admired novelists a perfect amalgam of intelligence, empathy and artistry This novel is a slave story, and like the Civil War, World War II, the Holocaust, the Cultural Revolution, it takes hundreds, maybe thousands of stories to encompass these huge, life altering events Fiction, biography, memoir, as well as history books are all required to bring the tales of individual human beings, locations and the legacies of the past forward to people who live now Through Moinette, daughter of a Louisiana slave and a white sugarcane planter, we get an entire society and socio economic world set in a discreet location Susan Straight has said that she combined the stories of slave ancestors told by her in laws with extensive research By sheer artistic genius she transmuted it all into the life of Moinette and created a woman whose experiences made her a strong survivor It is a horrific tale but left me with huge love and admiration for Moinette, who was a cadeau fille or gift girl , because her mother, Marie Therese was gifted to a visiting white planter for an evening s entertainment Various characters present gifts to Moinette, in the form of education, protection and funds which enable her to survive Cephaline, the rebellious daughter of Moinette s first maste
I read this book for both good and ridiculous reasons, but I am really glad that I did.Ridiculous I recently read the third book in the trilogy Between Heaven and Here I m a completist, so I don t read books out of order and I read all of them.Good I really enjoyed Between Heaven and Here and wanted to find out the stories that occur before and after The third book chronologically falls between the first and second books Ridiculous Good I discovered the GoodReads most read authors list feature and was embarrassed by 1 how few female authors were on the list, 2 how low they were in the rankings first ones were tied for 22nd and that included J.K Rowling , and 3 how high James Patterson was on the list tied for 5th So, I am working on getting some strong female representation in the top 10 e.g Margaret Atwood, Patricia Highsmith, and possibly Susan Straight.The not as good I thought the ending of the story felt rushed and took a
I first heard of this book while attending a master class by the author in New Orleans She read an excerpt, and her gentle reading voice along with the poetry of the words convinced me to give the story a try A Million Nightingales is a haunting, tragic book that tells the story of Moinette, a slave who is sold to several different masters before obtaining her freedom Along the way, she meets many people and faces several hardships that would understandably we