A short and honest book review: 12 Years A Slave (5 stars)

I have just this moment finished reading Solomon Northup’s 12 Years A Slave. The narration is unlike any other book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The mannerisms expressed in the writing are raw, so much so that I often felt engrossed in conversation with Solomon himself.

At points, the very nature of Solomon’s plight flooded me with tears and left a bitter taste in my mouth. We are all in debt to men like Solomon Northup.

If you ask me, the very nature of slavery is undeniable proof of the existence of evil within mankind. We are so very often the cause and biggest contributors to the worst that life can ascertain.

I have not yet watched the film, but even now I fear it will not meet my expectations. However I am grateful that Hollywood threw Solomon’s story into the spotlight. For those of you who are unaware of Solomon’s Northup, he, a free black man born in New York City, July 1808, was stripped of his freedom papers. This betrayal, led him to a life of slavery where he endured 12 years. The book depicts his life shortly before and during his enslavement.

During captivity, through the eyes of Solomon, we meet many other slaves, women, men and children alike forced to work for the white man. The most gruelling part of Solomon’s journey are the punishments he and his follow slaves endure, I cannot fathom the existence of such a cruel life.

In one of the earlier chapters, we meet Eliza, I would like to take this opportunity to warn those who have not yet read this book. The life Eliza was forced to endure is perhaps one of the most harrowing and devastating existences I could ever imagine. Read with careful caution.

This thought provoking and often stomach churning book has certainly taken me on a journey I feel everyone should take. Regardless of personal circumstances, wealth, race, religious affiliations, gender or age, this book will touch your heart and enrich your soul.

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