Blue-Eyed Slave

In 1764, a young Jewish girl named Hannah lived in the bustling port city of Charleston, South Carolina. Ruled by the British, Hannah’s town became accustomed to the practices of the West, particularly with regard to slavery. In one auction, Hannah meets Bintu, an African girl notable for her blue eyes. Intrigued by the distinct feature, the Reverend buys the slave, who becomes a helper to his household. Despite strong opposition from their owners, slaves were educated to read and write in a school operated by Harry, a literate slave. Hannah grows interested in assisting the teacher, becoming one herself. This is where she grows closer to Bintu, forming a bond between the two and also leading to dangerous consequences that will test their principles and beliefs about the life each girl knew.

Blue-Eyed Slave, by Marshall Highet and Bird Jones, is an inspiring story of sisterhood in a world where relationships between people of different backgrounds are frowned upon and forbidden. The story opens with an 80-year-old Hannah, who recounts her journey to Rachel, her young granddaughter, who was the same age she was in 1764. Telling the story as a sort of flashback was a nice touch, for it gently introduces the heavy themes of slavery, corruption, and the like. Moreover, it subconsciously reminds its readers that there is a hopeful ending in store, with Hannah living as an octogenarian.

As the story plunges to the past, picturing Charleston is easy due to the articulate description of the setting and the fact that the city itself was able to preserve its rich history even up to this date. The number of characters in the novel is not overwhelming, making sure that readers can get invested in each character, something integral in inspiring stories such as this one. The language is also easy to understand, explaining the scenes in a straightforward manner.

I am fascinated with period pieces for their depiction of how our ancestors lived, and shining a light on their social issues makes Blue-Eyed Slave more appealing to me. Many novels and films have already followed this road, where a historical narrative focused on a real person or group of people. Still, experiences vary, making this unique and all the more interesting. We can only imagine the hardships Hannah, Bintu, and so many more people went through, but to be able to intricately look at their lives even after centuries since their existence is a privilege readers will be able to get when they read this novel.

Blue-Eyed Slave is a historical fiction novel written in a way that teens and young adults will be able to connect to the Revolutionary War period. I would recommend this to anyone interested in knowing more about slavery during this critical time period. This novel is appropriate for middle grades and up. Hannah and Bintu, while young, are able to comprehend the world they live in and the challenges they face head-on without diminishing the reality of things.

Pages: 228 | ASIN : B09Q64WS68

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The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 16, 2023, in Book Reviews, Five Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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