Thursday, March 25, 2010

Good Fortune Noni Carter

Good Fortune by Noni Carter
I always have to mentally prepare myself for a novel set during slavery, especially one that's almost 500 pages. So Good Fortune sat unread for awhile. The other day, I was finally ready. I am glad that I made time for this book ecause there is a very good story inside.

14 yr old Sarah was four when she's kidnapped into slavery. Than her name was Ayanna. Now its 1821 Sarah is a slave in Tennessee. At night she dreams of her family and freedom. Mary, a slave who works in the house becomes Sarah's new mother. Mary's son Daniel her new brother.

Sarah splits her time between working the cotton fields and caring for the two small children in the house. When the children play school, Sarah uses the oppurtunity to educate herself. Sarah is determined to learn to read and write no matter the risk.

When Sarah learns that Daniel and a few of his friends are planning to escape, she wants to go. One of the master's sons Jeffrey has his eye on Sarah. She wants to leave before he can put his hands on her.

Sarah has feelings for John, Daniel's friend. John feels the same way. Their relationship is fragile and dangerous thanks to Jeffrey.

Good Fortune is 470 pages, and reads like a novel half its size. Sometimes long novels jump too far ahead in the story and I've feel as if I've missed something. Other times they don't seem to move at all and the story seems to drag. Good Fortune doesn't fall into either one of those categories. I loved the paced. Carter's writing is very good. Sarah's voice is clear and strong throughout.

One of the things that stood out for me in this novel is the research that went into it. If a young reader had never read a novel about slavery, Good Fortune would be the second one I gave them right after To Be A Slave by Julius Lester. ages 11up read an excerpt