Song Yet Sung by James McBride
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Song Yet Sung
In the days before the Civil War, a runaway slave named Liz Spocott breaks free from her captors and escapes into the labyrinthine swamps of Maryland’s eastern shore, setting loose a drama of violence and hope among slave catchers, plantation owners, watermen, runaway slaves, and free blacks. Liz is near death, wracked by disturbing visions of the future, and armed with “the Code,” a fiercely guarded cryptic means of communication for slaves on the run. Liz’s flight and her dreams of tomorrow will thrust all those near her toward a mysterious, redemptive fate.
I had a little difficulty with this book due to the writing style and commentary. I'm used to light flowing writing and this was more poetic and a little heavy. Reading about slavery and the evil associated with it is always difficult for me. With that said, I did end up finishing the book and I liked it.
The character of Liz was very interesting, she was called the Dreamer because of her strange dreams. Her dreams told of an indescribable future, one where young black men are loud and angry. Others where young black men helped others to look towards hope and promise. I thought it was brilliant to tie the past and the present together in this way. It was apparent that those who heard the dream didn't always understand what she was seeing but they knew she was seeing something. For me, the dreams were a sign of hope for the future.
I also found the concept of the code intriguing. When under pressure, people become resourceful or they die. It's long been said that slaves could communicate and send messages faster than the white man could move from plantation to plantation. I love how that was woven into this story. True or not it was a very creative element.
Overall the book struck a chord in me. A desire to know more about the times that are so painful in my history. There is a need to know where we came from in order to teach our children, to guide them, to keep them from falling in to an entirely different form of slavery.
From a Christian Perspective>
There was one passage that really jumped out at me:
"It's God's world. He washes you clean. He makes you whole. He puts rain in your garden and sunshine in your heart. Just pray when you get free, child. Pray for what you done, and what you gonna do." Song Yet Sung, James McBride
That passage really says so much in so few words. We have been washed in the blood, cleansed from our sins, our hearts filled with joy. Prayer is what keeps up connected to Him. We need Him for guidance! We can't move forward without him!
Love & Blessings,
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