Free Enterpriseby Michelle Cliff
This message was found on John Brown's body following his ill-fated raid on Harpers Ferry. History books do not record the contribution of his mysterious collaborator, "M.E.P.," but in Free Enterprise, acclaimed novelist Michelle Cliff tells the remarkable story of frontier legend Mary Ellen Pleasant. In 1858, two black women meet at a restaurant and begin to plot a revolution. Mary Ellen Pleasant owns a string of hotels in San Francisco that cater to wealthy whites and secretly double as havens for runaway slaves. Her comrade, Annie, is a young Jamaican who has given up her life of privilege to fight for the abolitionist cause. Together they join John Brown's doomed enterprise, and barely escape with their lives.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.29(w) x 5.27(h) x 0.87(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
I bought this book hoping to read a fictionalized account of Mammy Pleasant, who lived in San Francisco in the 19th Century. What I got instead was an unreadable mess, written by Michelle Cliff, who apparently believes that confusing the reader with unnecesary prolixity is good writing. Wading through her writing style is like walking through a bog with clogs. I don't know if the author believes that her writing is poetic or original, but it is simply a giant deterrent to the reader. I gave the book my best effort, but could not finish it. It is extremely umpleasant to be unable to get caught up in the story because of tripping over unnecesarily complicated sentences, isolated words that I belive are her way of trying to handle streams of consciousness and "cute" (another way of saying annoying) ways of saying things.