May 25, 2010

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Date Started: May 22, 2010
Date Finished: May 24, 2010

Summary:  Lizzie comes to Tawawa house with her master, Drayle. She meets three other slave women, Reenie, Sweet, and Mawu. Tawawa house is where Slaveowners take their black slave mistresses. It is also in Ohio, where slavery is outlawed and Blacks can live in freedom. Mawu and the others are ready to escape their abusive lives as slaves, but Lizzie is in love with Drayle and the children she has with him. Lizzie must either escape to freedom with the other women or return her old way of living.

Likes: This novel is beautifully crafted and at the same time frustrating. The dynamic between Lizzie and Drayle is a complex one. On the one hand, Lizzie has been abused by her master and mistreated by him, yet she has to find feelings for him. She has two children by him, which also puts her in a compromised position, especially when it comes to fighting for her freedom. The characterization and growth in each of the characters is subtle and beautiful. Each woman has a resilient spirit and each one achieves freedom in their own way.It's frustrating to read because the tension is so high. I understand Lizzie's decision, but at first I was mad at her for making what I thought was the wrong choice. But once you think about the situation and perhaps, what you might do if you had the choice you see how hard the decision was for Lizzie to make and ultimately she leaves Tawawa house with a new found power that she never had before. 

Dislikes: There wasn't much I disliked about this novel. I was a little confused towards the end when Drayle takes his wife to the resort. I'm confused as to why she was there, but there were some important conversation that takes place between Lizzie and Drayle's wife that is important to Lizzie's growth. It was just odd, but it was necessary.

Overall: I loved this novel and it definitely lives up to the hype. The author is so nice and filled with good writing advice. I feel bad for not bringing paper to write notes. This book is a great read and I can't wait to read what other projects this author has waiting.

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