Middle Passage (Charles Johnson)

Middle Passage was not at all what I expected it to be.  I expected a historical novel about, well, the Middle Passage.  Which Middle Passage is, in the most basic sense.  But it’s also an adventure story, and a short-but-dense philosophical musing on race, identity and America.  In the end, the best description I can … Continue reading Middle Passage (Charles Johnson)


People of the Book (Geraldine Brooks)

Some stories are about an object’s journey through time and space, its various owners, and how certain episodes in its history affected it.  The film The Red Violin is one of these;  if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I’m talking about.  In that case the “protagonist” is a legendary violin, inhabited by the spirit … Continue reading People of the Book (Geraldine Brooks)

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague (Geraldine Brooks)

I read Geraldine Brooks’ novel Caleb’s Crossing a few months ago, and loved it. After that, I discovered Brooks had a number of other novels, most of which sounded equally fascinating, and decided to start with Year of Wonders. It’s also set in the 17th century, but that wasn’t the reason. Rather, Year of Wonders … Continue reading Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague (Geraldine Brooks)