I stayed up late to finish reading this book last night. After finishing, I was speechless. I did not know what to say. Or what to think. My thoughts were jumbled, varied. I had to sit a minute or ten to decipher all I had read.
It’s been a bit of a challenge deciding how I want to write this post or what I wish to convey about the book, without spoilers, to the person or two (or none) who might read this post, but here goes…
The Underground Railroad follows Cora, a slave on the Randall plantation in Georgia. Some time before, her mother, Mable, escaped the plantation, leaving a young Cora to fend for herself. Cora is approached by Caesar. He decides he has to run away with Cora. Caesar has a fascinating story of his own, be it a short one, by the way. Cora initially declines Caesar’s offer, but finally agrees to run.
The two embark on a thrilling, nerve-racking adventure, one where they experience distant lands and meet many people, several who risk it all to help the duo on their journey to freedom. There were times I held my breath and pleaded for their safety. And for them to keep going.
What I loved the most about this book was that The Underground Railroad is an actual railroad! Sorry to spoil that tidbit for anyone. Seriously though, I loved that. I was like, oh okay! I see you, I get it.
This is where I’m getting off the train. I’m not spilling anymore. My spirit tells me not to. But I will add these last few bits. I did end up skimming a bit because I wanted to get to the point. The author can be very wordy and descriptive at times, unfortunately in places where I wanted more Cora and Caesar. But hey, I did end up learning new words, so we’re good. The author clearly read slave narratives and did his research. It’s evident in his writing.
I also cannot end this post without mentioning that this novel reminds me much of the WGN television show, Underground, which I loved and tweeted about relentlessly.
So, do I think you should pick this up? Absolutely. And not because Oprah said so.
I received an advanced copy from Netgalley.