!!> Reading ➽ Conjure Women ➶ Author Afia Atakora – Raovathaiphong.info
A powerful debut novel by this author.The story is about emancipated slaves continuing to live on the plantation they ve lived on for many years, after its destruction during the Civil War.It centers most around a healer conjure woman Miss May Belle, her daughter Rue, and Varina the daughter of the white plantation owner.The story goes back and forth in time showing how they had to live pre and post civil war times.Miss May Belle was called upon for healing and the casting of spells and midwifery before the war following her death after the war, Rue takes over..when she delivers a baby with a caul and other children start getting ill, people start wondering if she is a witch.The slaves where now free but continuing to live on this ruined plantation they didn t really know anything of the outside world, freedom hadn t yet changed their lives.Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for this ARC self care do you perhaps mean adding books with gorgeous covers to your TBR list Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestCONJURE WOMEN is like if John Steinbeck sat down and wrote about the black experience during the Civil War It s just as epic in scope and the author, Afia Atakora, does a really good job showing people at their best and at their worst in the microcosm of plantation life I was so impressed by the depth and complexity of all the characters, especially the two main characters, Rue and May Belle, who are the healing women on the plantation and sometimes due hideously cruel things when their own selfishness and desperation to survive overrides their mission to do no harm.The novel is told in pieces The wartime parts are narrated by May Belle, a respected woman on the plantation who delivers the babies and does all the healing Her position is thrown into flux, though, as her daughter slowly comes of age and with her, the daughter of the plantation, Varina Brought up in relative shelter from the crueler machinations of the plantation, Rue has grown up blind to what white people are capable of That blind eye has some glaring repercussions for Rue and her mother.The second piece of the novel is narrated after the war Rue has now taken over her mother s duties, but she lacks her mother s warmth and her people regard her with suspicion and fear, especially when a mysterious plague starts to afflict the children, causing them to sicken and die Rue s foothold of power and respect is then thrown into question when a preacher named Abel comes and his biblical variety of salvation proves imminently consumable and palatable than her own.I loved this book so much In addition to the Steinbeck comparison for its simple but elegant brutality of the written word, I would say that this book also reminded me a lot of Octavia Butler s KINDRED It s one of the nuanced books of the Civil War era South I have ever read There are some scenes towards the end that are very hard to read, including torture and rape, but it s never too graphic, isn t lingered on, and is crucial to the story Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 4 to 4.5 stars As a slave woman Miss May Belle made her nameby crafting curseHoodoois black folks currencya white man would come from afar having heard of Miss May Belle s conjure, asking for cure of some affliction set upon himby slaveby his own white wife May Belle and her daughter Rue lived in a cabin they shared alone a privilege to be sure Miss May Belle birthed every baby at Marse Charles her master s plantation Marse asked if May Belle was teaching her daughter Rue her knowledge It keeps my child in his ownership and I make her worth the owning Rue learned the art of healing within the time frame of the Civil War At this time, Rue was often off mischiefing with Miss Varnia, the red headed daughter of the plantation owner May Belle was soon to give up midwifery and healing She stopped wanting to touch mamas or their baby joy after her man was hanged Rue routinely delivered babies and tended the sick.Slavery had ended Freedom had come after the war for all black folks All excepting Rue,for she was born to healing and stuck to it for lifea secret curse of her own makingjust as easy as folks praise came, it could turn to hatingmagic and faith were fickle Bean was a seemingly accursed baby delivered by Rue a devilshe madein the woods from river water, from claya haint and blight against the townspeopledistrust heaped upon him, as soon as he blinked open his bean black eyes Conjure Women , a debut novel by Afia Atakora, describes the life of Rue, born into slavery, taught the art of healing and birthing by her mother, May Belle Schooled in the old ways in times of slavery, during the Civil War, Rue was ill prepared for post war freedom Freedom was a word with weights It meant deciding to stay or to go Author Atakora masterfully paints a picture of Varnia, the Southern belle, Black eyed Bean, and travelling preacher Bruh Abel as well I highly recommend this work of historical fiction.Thank you Random House Publishing Group Random House and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review Conjure Women. A Mother And Daughter With A Shared Talent For Healing And For The Conjuring Of Curses Are At The Heart Of This Dazzling First Novel Conjure Women Is A Sweeping Story That Brings The World Of The South Before And After The Civil War Vividly To Life Spanning Eras And Generations, It Tells Of The Lives Of Three Unforgettable Women Miss May Belle, A Wise Healing Woman Her Precocious And Observant Daughter Rue, Who Is Reluctant To Follow In Her Mother S Footsteps As A Midwife And Their Master S Daughter Varina The Secrets And Bonds Among These Women And Their Community Come To A Head At The Beginning Of A War And At The Birth Of An Accursed Child, Who Sets The Townspeople Alight With Fear And A Spreading Superstition That Threatens Their Newly Won, Tenuous FreedomMagnificently Written, Brilliantly Researched, Richly Imagined, Conjure Women Moves Back And Forth In Time To Tell The Haunting Story Of Rue, Varina, And May Belle, Their Passions And Friendships, And The Lengths They Will Go To Save Themselves And Those They Love Conjure Women is a richly structured novel, moving between the last years of southern slavery and the risky freedom that followed Multiple stories play out in alteration, informing each other, as well as functioning on their own Because I kept wanting the next part of this two sided puzzle, I found Conjure Women a very difficult book to put down.Conjure Women does nothing to whitewash either slavery or the dangerous years after it, but it also doesn t indulge in gratuitous violence There is cruelty, both across and within races There are also badly made choices, when characters, addressing pressing needs, create entirely news set of problems and injustices Afia Atakora s insight into the complicated natures of human identity and desires gives us a world both blemished and carefully observed.Given the wonderful quality of its plotting, characters, and prose, I feel compelled to call Conjure Women on of this years must read novels Don t miss it.I received a free electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley The opinions are my own. Upon finishing this book, I knew that I needed to read books by Afia Atakora A quick search tells me Conjure Women is actually her debut novel All I can say to that is wow.Set just before, during, and after the American Civil War in the antebellum south, this striking novel tells the story of healer and slave Miss May Belle, her daughter and somewhat reluctant protege, Rue, and their master s daughter, Varina Rue and Varina are the same age and grow up together amidst the brutality and tragedy of slavery on a southern plantation Secrets, lies, betrayals, magic, and spiritualism pervade the story of this community of slaves as they become free men and women and their struggles continue.Atakora s writing is fantastic and affecting All of the characters are well developed and authentic, but Rue especially stole my heart What a beautifully complex and layered character She s very much a product of her life and environment , but she s alsoindependent, smart and headstrong.This is definitely not an easy read as one expects, its dark, heartbreaking, and full of terribleness It feels realistic, painful, and important, and despite all of the sadness, this book has much to offer of joy and hope Rue, May Belle, and Varina will stick with me for a long while. Thank you to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for the allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review I absolutely LOVED this book Conjure Women is Atakora s debut novel and includes elements of plantation and slavery life as well as magic, healing and all things in between We are first introduced to Rue, who is a midwife healer in a small town that mainly consists of recently freed slaves after the end of the Civil War Throughout the story we gain a better understanding of Rue s life after the war and before the war with her mother who was also a midwife and healer During her life after the war, Rue helps to deliver a little boy whom she names Bean The town becomes convinced that Bean is cured and connects that back to Rue who in turn needs to earn back the faith and trust of the town Atakora masterfully transports the reader to pre and post Civill War times and holds nothing back when describing the harsh life of those during the Civil War the stories of Rue and her mother May Belle were entrancing and I found myself not only getting lost within their stories and hardships, but I found myself investing in everyone else in the town My heart broke for Bean This was a bit of a heavy read, and while it wasn t a page turner in the way a good mastery or thriller is, it was enough for me to want to keep reading and know what happened next This is a powerfully good read and I can not wait for 2020 so I can have in on my shelf This is a book that meanders through time, characters and stories which are rich and gorgeously written It was easy to get lot in them and enjoy each for what it was communicating and portraying, telling the stories of the same characters both before the Civil War and then after Then, at some point, you suddenly realize these stories are the pieces of one big puzzle you didn t even realize were clicking right into place Once you get that, it s a race to get to the end Really You can t turn the pages fast enough Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy Opinions are my own. Powerful vivid magical realism in a heartbreaking era of our history, wow Conjure Women is a lyrical character wise debut Rue is at the center of this story she s coming of age and learning to be a midwife from her mom, May Belle They are the Conjure Women on the southern plantation where they are enslaved Mystical natural elements are revealed in vivid scenes as Rue searches for medicinal plants and mysterious foxes wonder the woods With compelling insight into human nature, community and the heartbreaking antebellum reconstruction eras of our history, this book will offer rewarding book club discussions Comparable books include Beloved by Toni Morrison, Song Yet Sung by James McBride and The Water Dancer by Ta Nehisi Coates.Thanks to publisher Random House, I was able to read this book in advance.