the next good book

Let Us Descend

By Jesmyn Ward

8.5/10
(8.5/10)

299 pages

What’s it about?

Annis is a slave in the antebellum South.  She spends her first thirteen years or so living with her mother. She is inconsolable when her mother is sold further down South.  Annis soon finds herself making the same journey to the slave market that her mother made.  This novel mixes magical realism with the abomination of slavery.

What did it make me think about?

It is horrifying what people are capable of doing to each other.

Should I read it?

I am a huge Jasmyn Ward fan.  Her writing is absolutely lyrical.  Sing, Unburied, Sing and Salvage the Bones are two novels that I greatly admire and really enjoyed. Let us Descend will be added to the list of novels I admire- but I did not enjoy this book as much as the previous two. What Annis had to endure is hard to read about- but that was not the problem for me.  The writing is just as beautiful, but the mixture of magical realism with the rest of this story just did not seem cohesive to me. It tended to take me out of the story.  I still have nothing but admiration for Jesmyn Ward- and if you enjoy beautiful writing then pick this one up. Quote- ” ‘This place horrified her,’ Mama whispers.  ‘When I got older, I thought I knew.  Thought I understood how wrong this place was, but I didn’t.’ Mama squeezes my middle.  ‘I didn’t understand how wrong until you came squalling out of me.’ “

What’s it about?

Annis is a slave in the antebellum South.  She spends her first thirteen years or so living with her mother. She is inconsolable when her mother is sold further down South.  Annis soon finds herself making the same journey to the slave market that her mother made.  This novel mixes magical realism with the abomination of slavery.

What did it make me think about?

It is horrifying what people are capable of doing to each other.

Should I read it?

I am a huge Jasmyn Ward fan.  Her writing is absolutely lyrical.  Sing, Unburied, Sing and Salvage the Bones are two novels that I greatly admire and really enjoyed. Let us Descend will be added to the list of novels I admire- but I did not enjoy this book as much as the previous two. What Annis had to endure is hard to read about- but that was not the problem for me.  The writing is just as beautiful, but the mixture of magical realism with the rest of this story just did not seem cohesive to me. It tended to take me out of the story.  I still have nothing but admiration for Jesmyn Ward- and if you enjoy beautiful writing then pick this one up.

Quote-

” ‘This place horrified her,’ Mama whispers.  ‘When I got older, I thought I knew.  Thought I understood how wrong this place was, but I didn’t.’ Mama squeezes my middle.  ‘I didn’t understand how wrong until you came squalling out of me.’ “

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