Captivated until the last chapter; the end didn't do it for me however. It felt incomplete. (I haven't read Gulliver's Travels, which I think this is modeled on; perhaps that's how it ends?)
An incredibly readable literary novel. Touches of magical realism with flat out realism; imaginative smudging with the historical timeline, too. Cora is an appealing heroine, and the chapters we weren't with her were the loneliest for me. (Her mother's chapter, however, oh lord, that one killed me.)
Torn about "enjoying" this one; I'm still haunted by Kara Brown's Jezebel article "I'm So Damn Tired of Slave Movies":
" I’m tired of watching black people go through some of the worst pain in human history for entertainment, and I’m tired of white audiences falling over themselves to praise a film that has the courage and honesty to tell such a brutal story. When movies about slavery or, more broadly, other types of violence against black people are the only types of films regularly deemed “important” and “good” by white people, you wonder if white audiences are only capable of lauding a story where black people are subservient."
It's different, of course, from a film made by white folks, but I still wonder if I'm feeding that machine. Need to sit with this a little and figure out the thornier parts. But a good novel, an accessible one. In this year of #blacklivesmatter, Whitehead articulates the various ways America allows black lives to matter -- they don't; or they do if they are sterilized or experimented on; or they do if they accept the word of God; or, if, if if...
From a third into the novel: "...one might think one's misfortunes distinct, but the true horror lay in their universality."