Saturday, April 30, 2016
Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan
In some cases, a lack of planning pays off.
Joshua, a young man enslaved on a South Carolina plantation has done the unforgivable-- he learned to read, and when caught reading by his master, who believes he has stolen the book to sell, since it is inconceivable that a slave could read, is beaten for his crime. Joshua decides to run away, He sets out woefully unprepared and unequipped: no food, no shoes, no plan, and only the money he stole from his mother's coin jar. But Joshua's big advantage is that he is smart, and knows the path and landmarks he must follow to reach his goal of freedom. Early in his journey, he meets Angel, another slave, who decides to follow Joshua as he follows the North Star. Sometimes in tandem, sometime apart, the two journey north, meeting the various challenges that confront them, using their brains and their luck to keep headed toward their goal.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the beautiful way Robert Morgan weaves a tale. I learned this about his writing in some of his earlier books, and settled in to enjoy a master storyteller when I cracked open the pages of this book. I was not disappointed. Morgan managed to bring alive the characters and places of the story, taking me along with Joshua from South Carolina, where I currently live, through the more landscape that has been home for me at various points in my life. While much of the landscape was familiar to me, the few places I'd not travelled were easily envisioned through his words.
Thank you Algonquin Press and Library Thing for sending me a copy of this book.
Tags: 2016-read, advanced-reader-copy, algonquingiveaway, an-author-i-read, early-review-librarything, i-liked-it, made-me-look-something-up, made-me-think, places-i-have-been, read, set-in-my-stomping-grounds, taught-me-something