Thursday, 4 May 2017

Passing for White by Tanya Landman

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Publisher: Barrington Stoke 
Released: 15th of May 2017 

1848. The Deep South. Rosa is a slave but her owner is also her father and her fair skin means that she can ‘pass for white’. With the aid of her husband, Rosa disguises herself as a young Southern gentleman, and her husband as her property. In this guise, the couple flee the South, explaining away their lack of literacy, avoiding anyone that they may have ever met and holding their nerve in the face of extreme stress and imminent danger, over a thousand miles to freedom. 

What I Have to Say 

One of the many things I liked about this was that it was a that it's based on a true story. Some of the names and events are changed but the basic story of two black people travelling across America in search of freedom is the same. It's inspiring and made even more awesome by the fact that there was no "white saviour" in the entire thing. The entire journey was all down to Rosa, a black slave, taking advantage of her light skin to disguise herself as a white gentleman. And that is just the most beautiful thing I've read lately. 

Rosa felt very real as well. Her fear as she traveled, always worrying that she would be caught out was infectious and it made me root for her so much, because I couldn't stand the thought that she wouldn't succeed. 

The language used in the book was mostly okay. The N-word was used once and Rosa's husband was addressed as "boy" a few times, but there was a note in the back explaining the authors decision to use these words and how she had tried to hold back as much as she could without being unrealistic. I think. Obviously being white I don't know what it would be like to be a black person reading this book, so I can't really comment more than to say I respect the author's decision and hope it doesn't offend anyone. 

My thanks go to Barrington Stoke and Nina Douglas for providing me with this copy for review. 

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