Monday, 17 December 2012

Underground to Canada Reflection

I read Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker quite a long time ago this year, but I felt the need to write a reflection now because I realized how many things I had to say about the book.

This book is extremely historically accurate, so not only are you reading an amazing story from a gifted writer and getting to know the great characters, you are also learning about the time period. This book was gripping with it's beautiful, stunning phrases, such as "daylight peeled away the shelter of darkness" and "[the mockingbird] It preened among the shimmering, sun flecked leaves, before bursting into loud-clear song".

Now let me discuss opinions. I found that some people did not enjoy the book as much because they found it disturbing and racist. Yes, I agree they were treated absolutely horribly and what was happening was wrong, but the purpose of the book is to explain what it was like for the slaves and awful people were to them. Though the tone of the book was sad, grim, and definitely emotional, I found that the story really connected with me because of it, meaning I had a better understanding of the characters and I felt touched by the story. And even when I felt like crying, I found it made the book even better. I was able to think about the experiences of slaves in America and how Canada was like the beacon of hope. This novel is definitely one I will never forget.

Some people also talked about the lack of action, but I have to disagree. There was plenty of adventure, and just an equal amount of dialogue, action, and beautiful poetry to make the novel and plot all come together. I warn you though- there are many sad parts.

I would definitely recommend this to everyone, whether you like historical fiction or not, however, if you are uncomfortable reading about the cruelty to the slaves, you might not want to pick this up.

I rated this book 5 stars out of 5 and really hope more people read this sad but amazing story.

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