This is the story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. Even at her birth, the Night Women - a clandestine council of fierce slaves plotting an island-wide revolt - recognize a dark force in her that they treat with both reverence and fear. But as Lilith comes of age and begins to understand her own feelings and identity, she dares to push at the edges of what is imaginable for the life of a slave woman. And as rebellions simmer and unspoken jealousies intensify, Lilith's powers and sense of purpose threaten not just her own destiny, but the destinies of all the slave women in Jamaica.
There is never one part of this book that you will find yourself bored with. It is incredible. The description above gives just a taster of the basic plot but this book is so much more. For those who love Toni Morrison's Beloved - think along those lines. For those who have yet to read Morrison, this is a book unlike any I've read on the subject. The writing skills of James are huge, a review inside the book (there are many) calls it 'a contemporary masterpiece'. I'm still wondering how a man can write about women so well - or why he should want to? Maybe there has/have been extraordinary women in his life.
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