Monday, September 30, 2013

Mini-Review: Caleb

Summary:  Educated as a companion to a rich white boy in Boston and promised freedom, Caleb was instead sold down South into the hard life of a field slave. Bought by a new master after five years, he uses his brains to jump from the cotton fields to a soft job and gain the trust of his master, but will settle for nothing less than freedom. As the Civil War threatens, he uses his fists to fight his way out of slavery. After a perilous trip north, he joins the Union army and sets off on the adventure that will bring him face to face with his former master on the field of battle.

Caleb is a historical novel that chronicles one man's fight against adversity, daring to succeed in the face of insurmountable odds and terrible hardship.

Review:  This is an interesting Civil-War-era novel form the point of view of a Northern slave sold south, where he gains his freedom, goes back north, and joins the army just as the war starts.  I found the perspective refreshing, as the characters were realistic in their complexity.  They Southern slave owner whips Caleb for refusing to talk, yet helps him buy back his freedom, coming up with a plan where Caleb can earn the money.  Some slaves preferred the security of their own slavery on the plantation to the unknowns of freedom.  In the North, some jobs and bosses were on par or worse than those of the slave-held in the South, which is what leads Caleb to the army rather than any desire to "free his Black brothers."  My only complain is that words the end, especially, things come too easily to Caleb.  He worked hard and was smart, but it was all a little to pat.  Nonetheless, a good read.

Purchase on Kindle:

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