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The New York TimesAt the end of Edward P. Jones's stunning new antebellum novel, an artist recreates the book's plantation setting as "a map of life made with every kind of life man has ever thought to represent himself." One of the characters says, "It is what God sees when He looks down."
The author's viewpoint has the same effect in this book about slavery, property, freedom and family, all in a most unusual setting. With hard-won wisdom and hugely effective understatement, Mr. Jones explores the unsettling, contradiction-prone world of a Virginia slaveholder who happens to be black. — Janet Maslin