This novel was a huge disappointment.
The group agreed that whilst there were some beautiful phrases, and extremely high quality writing, the structure of the narrative made it very hard going. For those of us that worked at it, and didn't abandon the book part way through, we were deeply disappointed to reach the end, only to find it wasn't; the story continues in a sequel.
The book is thoroughly reserached, and aswell as covering the heavy politics of the beginning of the American Revolution, slavery and war, has detailed descriptions which capture time and place. My favourite passage concerned the fashionable 'mistress' of the house, at a dinner party, where the slave Isabel observes the mouse hair she had stuck to her eyebrows continue to gradually slide down her face as she eats.
Read February 2012