12 Years A Slave (Book Review)
Title: Twelve Years a Slave
Author: Solomon Northup
Publisher: Derby & Miller
Published Date: 1853
Rating: 4 stars
unforgettable memoir was the basis for the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years
a Slave. This is the true story of Solomon Northup, who was born and raised as
a freeman in New York. He lived the American dream, with a house and a loving
family – a wife and two kids. Then one day he was drugged, kidnapped, and sold
into slavery in the deep south. These are the true accounts of his twelve hard
years as a slave – many believe this memoir is even more graphic and disturbing
than the film. His extraordinary journey proves the resiliency of hope and the
human spirit despite the most grueling and formidable of circumstances.
than reviewing this memoir for you which is a moving true story called Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup.
I am sure a lot of you are familiar with the movie, and after reading this I
hope to go and see it myself now.
didn’t know it was written so long ago until I had read about half the book. This
is an autobiography of a man who was kidnapped from his home city and had his
rights to freedom taken away from him as he was sold to slavery. In this book
you get to hear about some of the horrid things he was commanded to do and seen
happen to him and others in his 12 years as a slave. You get to hear other
people’s stories of the slaves around him as well, and in the end, we learn how
those 12 years ended for him.
because the style was difficult to grasp. When it comes to classics I can
usually adapt pretty quickly, but with this story I just couldn’t. I almost
thought I was going to have to stop reading. But in the end, somewhere after
the first thirty pages, it suddenly got a whole lot easier to read. I am not
sure if it’s just me, or because of the way it was written. After that I was
able to plug in more emotionally to the novel as well, because technical things
weren’t in the way.
you will need to have a lot of patience if you are going to read it. There are
some scenes which seem to take a while to get through because the author needs
to give us a lot of background information for us to understand what is
happening, and that can take a while. Otherwise I am sure most people would
like it, and also want to see the movie.
came across when discussing the novel with a friend. She pointed out that
Solomon seemed to be incredibly forgiving of the ‘good’ slave owners. If they
didn’t pester the slaves too much outside of the duty they were set and gave
them good food, Solomon would say he was blessed and happy. However, he still
never trusted the good slave owners to reveal that he was actually a free man
after his first ordeal. He is less forgiving of the ‘bad’ slave owners, but the
fact that he could even call a slave owner good really shows what a forgiving and
optimistic man Solomon must’ve been. This was something that stood out a lot to
and yet was captured into slavery. After his 12 years, he must have spent the
rest of his whole life wary, worrying that he could be kidnapped once again and
then be taken away and back into slavery. The fact that you had documents to
prove you were free meant nothing to some people, and that must have been
petrifying to live through.
most about it as well. One of them was the whole unknown situation with the
novel. Patsey is a character you get to know very well throughout the book, and
she definitely has it terribly hard. Her male slave owner uses her sexually
even though she is unwilling. The wife knows this and hates Patsey for it,
never making her life easy and constantly picking on her. She was the best at
the job that she was required for but that wasn’t enough. It got to the point
where she didn’t even want to live anymore. I couldn’t comprehend why those who
hated the slaves could later want to use them sexually. If you hate something,
shouldn’t you want to stay away from it? But apparently that isn’t so.
that we never know what happens in the end. Solomon ends his 12 years but of
course, only he can go and no one else with him. He leaves Patsey and since he
originally lives far away from where he was a slave, he never sees her again.
That leaves the reader to think of all the situations and endings for Patsey’s
story that they want. In my head I can picture nothing but worse case scenarios.
And the scariest thing is that those are the most likely truthful ones.
me is that fact that he was gone for 12 years. 12 years is such a long time,
and all of it was stolen from him. When he comes back, his children that he
left as toddlers are grown up adults who have gone through plenty of life
events without him. For all he knows, they could be married, have children, his
wife could’ve moved on. All that time that his family don’t know him… it makes
me want to cry knowing just how much he has stolen from him.
always feel like it is important to remember those before me who must’ve died
and fought for my freedom, or suffered a fate that I would’ve if I lived in
that time. I recommend to all who want to know more about history,
discrimination in those times and what the slaves had to work through. I
recommend it patient readers, and I hope you enjoy it.
or is too heavy a subject?