Sweetsmoke

Sweetsmoke

A Novel

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
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The year is 1862, and the Civil War rages through the South. On a Virginia tobacco plantation, another kind of battle soon begins. There, Cassius Howard, a skilled carpenter and slave, risks everything--punishment, sale to a cotton plantation, even his life--to learn the truth concerning the murder of Emoline, a freed black woman, a woman who secretly taught him to read and once saved his life. It is clear that no one cares about her death in the midst of a brutal and hellish war. No one but Cassius, who braves horrific dangers to escape the plantation and avenge her loss. As Cassius seeks answers about Emoline's murder, he finds an unexpected friend and ally in Quashee, a new woman brought over from another plantation; and a formidable adversary in Hoke Howard, the master he has always obeyed. With subtlety and beauty, Sweetsmoke captures the daily indignities and harrowing losses suffered by slaves, the turmoil of a country waging countless wars within its own borders, and the lives of those people fighting for identity, for salvation, and for freedom.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781401323318
1401323316
9781401310059
1401310052
Branch Call Number: FICTION Fuller
Characteristics: 310 p. : map ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Sweet smoke : a novel

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sit_walk Jan 30, 2010

Nominated for an Edgar Award for best first novel.

r
ryner
Oct 13, 2008

Sweetsmoke is the Virginia plantation where Cassius has lived his entire life in slavery. Although his relatively elevated status gives him some amount of freedom, such as driving to town alone, he's still treated with disdain by both his master and fellow slaves. Cassius' routine is interrupted one day by news that a close friend has been murdered, and he is determined to unravel the truth of the crime, although it means he'll have to push the limits of his bondage, and therefore risk his life.

Sweetsmoke was a satisfying and educational read, although not overwhelmingly compelling.

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