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The Underground Railroad

By Colson Whitehead

Rating: 4/5

Favourite Quotes:

"Cora had heard Michael recite the Declaration of Independence back on the Randall plantation many times, his voice drifting through the village like an angry phantom. She didn't understand the words, most of them at any rate, but created equal was not lost on her. The white men who wrote it didn't understand it either, if all men did not truly mean all men. Not if they snatched away what belonged to other people, whether it was something you could hold in your hand, like dirt, or something you could not, like freedom. The land she tilled and worked had been Indian land." ⠀⠀
"Because that's what you do when you take away someone's babies-steal their future. Torture them as you can when they are on this earth, then take away the hope that one day their people will have it better." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Thoughts: Whitehead's conception in the book is that of an Underground Railroad that is not a metaphor but a full operation with conductors and engineers that are operating a secret network of tracks. It is beautifully written with a brilliant structure to loop the reader in on other points of view missed through the main storyline.

Although I got attached to the wellbeing of the main character Cora, a runaway from a plantation in Georgia. All of the secondary characters fell flat with undeveloped story lines and no back stories to pull me in. It is smartly written but needs to pull the reader into the story when it jumps from Cora's story to others she meets along her journey.

It gives a great perspective to learn more about the railroad, and is smart to showcase slavery in America as a real railroad. However, if you struggle with many POV that aren't complete, this book is not for you.

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