The Book of Night Women is a sweeping, startling novel, a true tour de force of both voice and storytelling. It 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 slave women around her recognize a dark power that theyâ?and sheâ?will come to both revere and fear.
The Night Women, as they call themselves, have long been plotting a slave revolt, and as Lilith comes of age and reveals the extent of her power, they see her as the key to their plans. But when she begins to understand her own feelings and desires and identity, Lilith starts to push at the edges of what is imaginable for the life of a slave woman in Jamaica, and risks becoming the conspiracyâ's weak link.
Lilithâ's story overflows with high drama and heartbreak, and life on the plantation is rife with dangerous secrets, unspoken jealousies, inhuman violence, and very human emotionâ?between slave and master, between slave and overseer, and among the slaves themselves. Lilith finds herself at the heart of it all. And all of it told in one of the boldest literary voices to grace the page recentlyâ?and the secret of that voice is one of the bookâ's most intriguing mysteries.
This brutal rendering of life on a slave-driven plantation in 19th-century Jamaica focuses on a secret society of women who plan to break the chains of ****** and escape. A tenacious and mysterious young girl named Lilith seems destined to lead the revolt, but she must first sever the threads of treachery and deceit that threaten to reveal the plot before it even begins. Marlon James's description of the ruthless sadism of the plantation owners and the cruel class circles that developed within the ranks of the slaves vivifies the remarkable fortitude needed to endure every tortuous second of enslavement. Named a finalist for the 2009 National Book Critics Circle award for fiction.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Historical Fiction, General, Conflicts + Dualities, Literary, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Politics, Society + Social Issues
- Riverhead Books
- February 19, 2009
- February 19, 2009
- Marlon James