I wasn´t looking forward to reading this, because this kind of literature upsets me too much. I usually stay clear of all of it. Thinking that my ancestors were treated this way pains me. It is good and important, that we never forget what happened and these kind of books help, but as I said I am not strong enough to endure most of them.
That said, I gave this book a chance. I thought I´ll start reading it and if I can´t finish that´s how it is. Against all odds I did finish it and even started liking it. To me the change of perspective was a nice way of telling both stories, but always very disconnected. I wonder if that was on purpose or only bad character development.
Maybe it´s too obvious but not one charcter in the book raised a voice about the double standard, that a man can have as many "bastards" as he wants but when a woman has one she is despicable.
As I mentioned above I enjoyed the book more than I have expected and if it wasn´t for the ending I would rate it more than okay/fair. My main issues with the ending are three.
For once I expected Sarah to flee and succeed on her own wits. Everyone in this book praises her as a very smart girl. Yet only coincidences save her most of the time. To cut her hair was an intelligent thing to do, but other than that there wasn´t much. She learned to read. That and a lot of luck got her out of most situations.
The other thing is, does this book really call for a Hollywood Happy End? IMO it doesn´t and it makes the book unrealistic and it deviates from the rest of it´s style. Sometimes more is less and I would have been fine with Sarah living in New York as a paid maid or something.
The third and deciding factor that disappointed me, was Sarah´s revenge. I do get why she killed Mr. Allen. What I can not agree with is her mean behavior towards her husband. Yes, he did betray her and that is dishonorable, she didn´t deserve to be treated like this. But to sent him to certain punishment? Maybe even death? She could have expected him to lose a foot. Such a lack of compassion doesn´t fit in with the rest of her character (again bad character development?) and wasn´t even necessary for the story. It doesn´t serve any means, so why do it? That´s where the book lost me.