The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead [Book Review]

The Underground RailroadThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book’s conceit is that we are to imagine that The Underground Railroad was a real, functioning, railroad with people sensitive to the cause acting as station agents. Other than this premise being the foundation of the novel, and the vehicle for the story, it has nothing to do with the greater story.

Cora is a slave whose mother escaped the plantation when Cora was very young. Cora lives a generic slave life and doesn’t question anything – usually to steer clear of the masters and be as little noticed as possible. That is until Cora stands up for another slave and gets beat for it. Caesar – another slave – asks her if she wants to escape. And so everything changes from there.

Cora and Caesar move from city in their quest for freedom. Nothing goes to plan.

It is a wonderfully told story full of happiness, hope, tragedy, and heartbreak. Though I don’t have a lot to say about the book, I can simply say that it was wonderful. I’d recommend it to anyone.

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