"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs by Mary E. Lyons



The fictionalized version of a real-life runaway slave story.

The reward notice for Harriet Jacobs
Mary E. Lyons' book is a fictionalized account of the true story of Harriet Jacobs, a slave girl from North Carolina who escaped and hid in her grandmother's attic for seven years, beginning in 1835, before making her way north to freedom.

Lyons chose to use a fictional diary format to tell the story of Harriet Jacobs. In real life Jacobs could read and write and actually published a book about her life in 1861 called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

The diary format has some strengths - it is an efficient way to note the passage of time and to tell about Harriet's feelings. However, it is not nearly as memorable as telling her story as a novel. The letters just do not have the same flow and impact as a story.

The book also include a set of pictures of some of the real people and places involved, a family tree and a thorough bibliography.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Letters from a Slave Girl.

Reviewed on August 15, 2007.

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