4 out of 4 stars
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The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden by Londyn Skye is a fantastic novel. The author can tap into an era when slavery was a norm. The book describes Lily's journey through a troublesome life. Lily is a mixed black and white slave girl sold at a very young age at an auction. She was taken away from her mother by her very own father, who was her master. She was sold to another slavemaster on another plantation. Her new master, Jesse Adams, was a ruthless and mean man who did not tolerate any black person or anyone helping one to get away unpunished if they did not adhere to the slave code. Lily befriended a little white boy named James in the house where she was a housekeeper. They grew to love each other even if it was against social norms and laws. Lily taught herself how to play the piano by memorizing the lessons that James's mother taught her students. Her music talent was so unique that she was able to cross racial disparities to play the piano. She has a great mentor, William Werthington, a British composer who freed a family of slaves in the past. Lily can feel free for a short while and get to the highest musical performance levels. Also, Lily's relationships got heightened, including her friends and lover.
The novel is a cruel reminder that history included black slaves who had a harsh life. It is great to see a ray of sunshine in Lily's life to deal with the unfair conditions she was exposed to. First, it was her sweet childish friendship with James, with who she played with and joked all the time but only when they were alone. Then, the musical talent helped her play the piano and disconnect her from her hard life realities. It is also lovely to follow the reblossoming friendship and, ultimately, the passionate relationship with James. The positive characters help Lily grow and be the grand artist she is. To name a few, William Werthington, her mentor, Anna Mae, Ben, and Isabel, the freed slave family, Landon, her manager, Pier, a painter, and William's sons.
The negative aspect of this book is reminding of an era when black people were slaves. They were dealing with preset concepts, and they had to behave in specific ways governed by laws. The author depicted scenery with so much sophistication that one could feel empathy towards the slaves described. All the slave codes transcribed in the novel intensify the reality of history. Jesse is one of the most negative characters that even his son was avoiding. Then, Lily's sadness and pain when she was forced away from her mother by her father. Also, she was suffering when James changed to a cold master who wanted to take her to a breedmaster. There were negative characters throughout the novel. Most of them reminded Lily that she was not free and that the laws did not permit her to have the same expectations as white people. They all wanted to interfere with her personal and musical growth.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 because the author described an era that is difficult to acknowledge that was valid and ever existed. Looking from this point in time, I think that there are still racial disparities, but thankfully some of the barriers have vanished, and black people are free. They have the rights as they should, just as other human beings do. It is shocking to live through the characters and witness many unimaginable concepts widely accepted by white supremacists. The author can take the reader through a variety of feelings. Love, hate, fear, sadness, guilt, grief, anger, shame, and jealousy are some of the characters' emotions. The sentiments are so strong that the reader can sense what the characters feel and empathize with them.
I recommend this book to people who want to learn more about history and enjoy a great love story. It is for people who want to know more about when slavery of black people was normal and legal. It is also for an audience who loves art and music and understands how they can feel and grow in their carrier due to their talents. I do not think that the book is for everybody. Someone has to be prepared to read racial slurs, profanity, and erotic content. The reader will have a fully uncensored understanding with meticulous details of everything in the book.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden
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