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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
My Rating - 4 out of 5 stars
Publisher - Fingerprint Publishing
Genre - Classic/Memoir
Publishing year - 1853
Language - English 
ISBN - 978-81-7599-447-8
Pages - 255



My Review - 

I could not comprehend the justice of that law, or that religion, which upholds or recognizes the principle of slavery. 

It is a true story of a free man who is forced into slavery. Solomon Northup was born and brought up in Saratoga County, New York, married to Anne, and had three children. He was tricked by two men named Brown and Hamilton, they kidnapped him and sold in Washington. He was a slave for 12 years under different masters. One of them is Edwin Epps, who is a drunkard and has no humanity. He was merciless, and for his entertainment, he beats the slaves to death. 

In the words of the author, my back is thick with scars for protesting my freedom. They didn't only steal his freedom but everything he stands for. When he tried to tell the truth, he was beaten ruthlessly. They changed his name to Platt and sold to a far land where he has to accept his destiny and hides the truth in order to survive. He knows if he ever utters a single word and tells anybody that he is a free man, his master will kill him. So, he does all the hard work and endures beatings like every other slave. 

All the slaves feared their masters, but Solomon sometimes gets an eye-to-eye that nearly costs him his life many times. He still hoped to be free again and return to his family. He laid out plans to escape, also tried to contact his friends and family. But he got betrayed, and the hope is diminishing day by day. Until a savior came to his life and made a mission to reach Solomon's family so they can rescue him. 

Solomon Northup obtained freedom in January 1853 and wrote this book the same year, which is considered as the best slave narrative of all time. This novel gives insight into the slavery practice, judicial authorities of different states, inhumane punishments for black people. The author also accords the treatment towards other slaves; he witnessed in those 12 years. It is a heart-wrenching story, and one of the best classics I've ever read. Without a doubt, pick this book and read it asap. 

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