3 out of 4 stars
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The book Tears That Changed a Nation by Charles L. Tucker is the chronicle of a woman named Arminta O'Banion. Arminta, referred to as "Minty" in the book, was born into a slave family in Virginia at the start of our nation, and her life ends one hundred and eleven years later as a free citizen. Minty is comparable to Forrest Gump, having some connection with a multitude of famous American citizens during the 19th century. Having been patted on the head as a child by George Washington, caring for Ulysses S. Grant when he was an infant, and working as a paid servant in Harriet Beecher Stowe's house, Minty led a fascinating life, and this book shows evidence.
This historical novel follows not only what Minty is doing at the time with her life and whom she is associated, but also what monumental events that are happening in the United States during the time. Special consideration is given to between 1830-1870, when Minty was first freed as a slave, to the Civil War in which three of her grandsons died in battle. Pictures of the times are included, although none of Minty, sadly.
I loved this book and had trouble putting it down. The writing provides phenomenal imagery, Minty's life is fascinating, and I loved the pictures that accompanied the storyline. Minty's lifetime was experienced richly, and her stories riveting. One of my favorite parts of the book is when her master Edmund Randolph is discussed. The book later reveals Randolph is one of the founding fathers who was responsible for a motion that would later remove the word slavery from the Constitution. The fact that Minty may have played a part in writing our national Constitution is amazing.
Reading this book was an absolute treat, and I ended up polishing it off in about 2 hours. This book would make an excellent supplement to any United States History course, preferably either at the high school or collegiate level. I did not like some of the word choices used, as they were too complicated to make the writing flow smoothly. I would like to recommend this for younger grades, but there were some graphic pictures that might be intended for mature eyes.
I give Tears That Changed a Nation 3 out of 4 stars, for its decent but not great writing flow, vivid imagery, and wonderful main character. I took a star off the review for a considerable amount of typos. I recommend this book for any mature lover of history who likes to read about fascinating people and their unique story.
Tears That Changed a Nation
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