Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

    The Underground Railroad is a story about a young slave girl named Cora.  Cora is a slave on the Randall plantation, a cotton plantation in the state of Georgia.  Cora was born on the Randall plantation, and this is where her mother and grandmother were also slaves.  The book doesn't tell Cora's age but lets you believe she is about fifteen or sixteen years old.  Her mother ran away when she was a child and Cora resents being left behind to fend for herself.
    The one thing Cora does own is "a plot three yards square and the hearty stuff that spouted from it."  This plot was passed down to her mother from her grandmother and then to Cora once her mother ran away.  Cora has to defend her right to this ground more than once and learns to stand up for herself and what is hers.
     Caesar, a new arrival on the plantation, offers Cora an opportunity to accompany him on the Underground Railroad, but she is hesitant.  But when leadership on the plantation changes hands and Cora's circumstances get even worse, she decides to take a chance and flee with Caesar.  Not one to let his property get away, Terrance Randall sends a determined slave catcher, Ridgeway, after the duo.     As Cora and Caesar embark on a horrifying journey through the heart of America in search of freedom, the dangers of being caught are always at the forefront of their minds. Their journey takes them through the states of Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Indiana.
   The Underground Railroad is a tale of one woman's strong will to escape the horrors of bondage.
   Good read. This book just made the shortlist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Award.

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