A middle-aged white woman from our era inside the body of teenage black boy in the late 1850’s.
An interesting premise, and one I presumed would be written with the agenda of shedding light on the plight of slaves in America.
I expected Randon to make his point with a sledgehammer and leave no stones unturned and certainly take no prisoners.
Instead Randon is subtle in his approach, and it actually does seem as if the story is written by a middle-aged white woman.
Randon depicts the struggle between North and South before the outbreak of the civil war. How different the opinions are about slavery or the plight of slaves from one state to the other. Treated like little more than property, with no voice, no rights and no possible end to their situation in sight. Families ripped apart and subject to the whims, moods and brutality of sadists.
Eleanor experiences the injustice, the decrepit conditions and the inhumanity towards her, all because the colour of her skin has now made her a second class human being. She accepts her new surroundings and circumstances without so much as a second thought. I think I would be filled with rage at the injustice of being treated like property or worse than an animal.
I often wonder what I would be able to remember if I ever ended up in the past. Would I be able to remember anything useful? How Penicillin was discovered, the lotto numbers in a certain year, what invention to invest in or how create electricity. Would I be able to resist changing the course of history?
The one element of the story that didn’t gel completely right for me was Eleanor transforming into a surgeon or medical expert at one point. Time-travel or soul travel does not equate to the acquisition of brand new skills, such as medical knowledge.
I enjoyed the idea and admit to being surprised by the way Randon decided to let the idea speak for itself instead of using the idea as a tool or a voice.
Thank you to Smith Publicity for my copy of Memoirs of a Dead White Chick.