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Wash

Wash

4.0 16
by Margaret Wrinkle
     
 

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WINNER OF THE FLAHERTY-DUNNAN FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE 2014 CHAUTAUQUA PRIZE

One of Time Magazine’s "21 Female Authors You Should Be Reading"
Named a Best Book of 2013 by the Wall Street Journal
A New York Times Editors’ Choice
An O Magazine Top Ten Pick


In early 1800s Tennessee, two

Overview

WINNER OF THE FLAHERTY-DUNNAN FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE 2014 CHAUTAUQUA PRIZE

One of Time Magazine’s "21 Female Authors You Should Be Reading"
Named a Best Book of 2013 by the Wall Street Journal
A New York Times Editors’ Choice
An O Magazine Top Ten Pick


In early 1800s Tennessee, two men find themselves locked in an intimate power struggle. Richardson, a troubled Revolutionary War veteran, has spent his life fighting not only for his country but also for wealth and status. When the pressures of westward expansion and debt threaten to destroy everything he’s built, he sets Washington, a young man he owns, to work as his breeding sire. Wash, the first member of his family to be born into slavery, struggles to hold onto his only solace: the spirituality inherited from his shamanic mother. As he navigates the treacherous currents of his position, despair and disease lead him to a potent healer named Pallas. Their tender love unfolds against this turbulent backdrop while she inspires him to forge a new understanding of his heritage and his place in it. Once Richardson and Wash find themselves at a crossroads, all three lives are pushed to the brink.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Setting her first novel in the new state of Tennessee during the period between the American Revolution and the Civil War when no one knew how long—or even whether—slavery would continue, filmmaker Wrinkle (broken/ground), approaches historical fiction as a documentarian. She reveals fragments of the life stories of her black, white, and biracial main characters—all somehow wounded—who live either as slaves who may have grown up free or as slaveholders who deny any humanity in those they treat as property. Passages describing out-of-body experiences may not appeal to all, but mystical West African traditions permeate the lives of Washington "Wash" Pallas, Mena, and Rufus, strengthening them and making them spiritually richer than the white men who own their physical bodies, and who even lease Wash out as a stud to neighboring landholders. VERDICT Readers of Jonathan O'Dell's The Healing or Dolen Perkins-Valdez's Wench will be intrigued by this slowly building story of human beings learning to survive as slaves under ambivalent masters. [See Prepub Alert, 8/9/12.]—Laurie Cavanaugh, Holmes P.L., MA
The New York Times Book Review - Major Jackson
…a masterly literary work…I was moved by this story. Some would argue we are still living with the effects of slave breeding. Wrinkle's novel does not allow us to draw easy correlations but invites us to consider the painful inheritance and implications of such a horrendous moment in American history. Rather than disapproving opprobrium and diatribes, this debut occasions celebration. Haunting, tender and superbly measured, Wash is both redemptive and affirming.
Publishers Weekly
In this deeply researched, deeply felt debut novel, documentarian Wrinkle (broken/ground) aims a sure pen at a crucial moment following America’s War of Independence when the founding fathers yearned to free the country from the tyranny of slavery. At the center of this story stands Revolutionary War veteran Gen. James Richardson and his slave, Wash. Like Faulkner’s Thomas Sutpen of Mississippi, Richardson had depended on slaves to “carve out of nothing” a plantation on the Tennessee frontier. Though Richardson had wanted to leave slavery behind, he’s driven by greed and still involved with it, he says, “because I can’t stay out of it.” Imagining that the waves of settlers heading further west will need even more slaves, Richardson studs out Wash to neighboring plantations and fills the region with his visage—not the “R” branded to his cheek by his keepers, but Wash’s “dark eyes that let you fall right inside,” his “thick brows... like wings” and what the midwife who becomes Wash’s lover, Pallas, upon later meeting some of Wash’s biological children, calls, “hat dead on, straight ahead way he had.” Worried that another slave, jealous over whom Wash has been forced upon, might come at Pallas for revenge, Wash says he feels “nailed down in a way I want to pull up from. But it’d take too much skin so I don’t.” Undulating between a lyrical third-person narration and the meditative first-person accounts of Wash, Pallas, and a slowly cracking Richardson, the novel well evokes the tragedy not only of the lovers’ untenable positions, but also that of their master and his fragile country. Agent: Marly Rusoff, Marly Rusoff & Associates. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

Winner of the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize

Named a Best Book of 2013 by the Wall Street Journal

"A masterly literary work . . . Wrinkle’s novel does not allow us to draw easy correlations but invites us to consider the painful inheritance and implications of such a horrendous moment in American history. Rather than disapproving opprobrium and diatribes, this debut occasions celebration. Haunting, tender and superbly measured, Wash is both redemptive and affirming." —Major Jackson, The New York Times Book Review

"[An] unflinching, stunningly imagined debut." —Vanity Fair

"A marvel. By turns grim and lyrical, heart-wrenching and hopeful." —People (four stars; a People Pick)

"A powerful novel." —O, the Oprah Magazine (one of "Ten Titles to Pick Up Now")

"The voices of the past can't speak for themselves and must rely on the artists of the future to honor them. It's a profound responsibility and one that Margaret Wrinkle meets in her brilliant novel Wash. She shows not only the courage to submerge herself in the Stygian world of plantation slavery but also the grace and sensitivity to bring that world to life . . . Narrative roles are given to Wash, fellow slaves and his succession of masters, creating a dense, hypnotic ensemble of voices similar to the effect achieved in Peter Matthiessen's momentous retelling of the life of a Florida sugar plantation owner, Shadow Country . . . It's from patriarchs like Wash as well as like Richardson, Ms. Wrinkle shows, that the U.S. was born." —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

"Amazing . . . Never has a fictionalized window into the relationship between slave and master opened onto such believable territory . . . Wash unfolds like a dreamy, impressionistic landscape . . . [A] luminous book." —Atlanta Journal Constitution

"A lyrical story of courageous human beings transcending the cruelty and degradation of their slave-holding society." —The Dallas Morning News

"The history of the South provides plenty of tense, complicated material. Even subjects we think we know well can often reveal new stories in the hands of a talented author. Margaret Wrinkle's debut novel Wash is one of those stories." —Jackson Free Press

"[A] profound debut novel that takes readers on a journey into a past that left an inevitable mark in America’s history . . . Wash is a powerfully haunting tale about the captor and captive. It offers a look at both through their own narrative form expressing their true feeling." —Birmingham Times

"Wash achieves something extraordinary: a full-fledged confrontation with one of the most difficult aspects of our nation’s history. . . . Wrinkle has given us an honest and important expression of hope . . . a firm foothold that leads in the direction of truth and reconciliation. We would do well to take this step." —The Post and Courier

"[Wrinkle] plumbs beyond the brutality and into the wisdom of the ages to compose an elegiac yet surprisingly uplifting portrait of the resilience of the human spirit. . . . Wash is a solemn and magnificent paean to the survival—even amid the most crushing, inhumane conditions—of the special and eternal essence within every soul." —Shelf Awareness

"In this deeply researched, deeply felt debut novel, documentarian Wrinkle aims a sure pen at a crucial moment following America’s War of Independence. . . . The novel well evokes the tragedy not only of [its] lovers’ untenable positions, but also that of their master and his fragile country." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Wrinkle bears witness to the inhumanity of slavery . . . A moving and heart-rending novel." —Kirkus Reviews

"Heart-rending . . . Wrinkle has written a remarkable first novel, one that will haunt readers with the questions it raises, and the disturbing glimpse it offers into an unfathomable world." —Booklist

"Wrinkle has spotlighted a crucial era in the American experience, writing with grace and intelligence." —New York Journal of Books

"Wrinkle masterfully takes us on a powerful journey through the darkest past and present of this country, boldly addressing the chasm of racial divide with the scalpel of a gruesome truth. Wash is the epitome of courage and determination to heal the central wound of this culture." —Malidoma Patrice Somé, author of The Healing Wisdom of Africa

"Wash is bold, unflinching, and when finished, certain to haunt the reader for a long, long time." —Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Cove

"Boldly conceived and brilliantly written, Margaret Wrinkle's Wash reveals the horrible human predation of slavery and its nest of nightmares. With a truthfulness even beyond Faulkner, Wrinkle makes her novelistic debut in a monumental work of unflinching imagination." —Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife, Four Spirits, Abundance, and Adam and Eve

"Margaret Wrinkle’s Wash is a marvelous window into the world of nineteenth century American slavery—a powerful fusion of knowledge and imagination." —Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls Rising, Master of the Crossroads, and The Stone that the Builder Refused

"A significant and hugely troubling book." —Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy, Town Smokes, The Wrecking Yard, and Dogs of God

"This majestic, beautifully-written novel will both break your heart and make it wiser." —Charles Gaines, author of Stay Hungry, Pumping Iron, A Family Place, and The Next Valley Over

"This exquisite novel is a gift of healing. It exposes the dark and fearsome sin that stains our history, and confronts the guilt that lurks in our collective American soul. But in the genius of the telling we are led to the tenderness at the bone, the humanity at the core, and buoyed by joy." —Beverly Swerling, author of Bristol House

"A unique and powerful story, Wash tells a chapter of our past that we would rather look away from. Margaret Wrinkle makes sure that we cannot. Her whole life has led up to this book, and she writes it in a sure and captivating voice, augmented by her remarkable pictures." —Kevin Baker, author of Strivers Row, Dreamland, and Paradise Alley

Kirkus Reviews
Wrinkle bears witness to the inhumanity of slavery in this chronicle of a Southern family in the early 19th century. Richardson, an American soldier captured during the Revolutionary War, comes out of that experience in debt and unwilling to resume his previous life, so after the war, he begins to acquire several slaves. Although he'd just been looking for males, one female, Mena, catches his eye, and he purchases her as well. She bears a son, Wash (or Washington), who grows up under Richardson's watchful eye. It becomes a shocking but natural progression for Richardson to analogize breeding farm animals to breeding slaves, for to Richardson both are simply valuable commodities. Because the worth of a female slave is enhanced when she has children, Wash becomes a "stud" slave. Amid this unimaginable dehumanization, Wash tries to hold on to the West African legacy he's inherited from his mother, and he takes up with Pallas, a healer who's also holding on to her African heritage. Wrinkle moves us effortlessly through narratives recounted by Pallas, Wash and Richardson, so we get three perspectives on the events. She also recounts much of the narrative through a more distancing third-person point of view, a perspective that helps put all three major characters in the same frame. It's a measure of the evil of the system of slavery that Richardson is accounted a "good" owner. As he reflects, "Even a fool knows that whipping is best avoided. Makes them harder to sell. But if it needs to be done, I'll do it myself." His stubbornness is matched by that of Wash himself, who manages to maintain and assert his dignity in an environment that systematically tries to deprive him of it. A moving and heart-rending novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802193780
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/05/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
519,915
File size:
4 MB

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Pallas

It was one of his early trips to Miller’s when I first laid eyes on Wash. Pretty soon, I learned to be gone when they brought him. Made sure to be out gathering or else seeing about folks. But that first Friday afternoon when Richardson sent Wash over here to do his business, I was home and I saw it all.

Watched him ride in on that wagon while I started my fire. Stood there stewing some goldenseal and saw Wash dip one shoulder to duck inside that small side door of Miller’s barn, with Richardson’s man Quinn following right behind him step for step.

Richardson’s horses, one rust and one a faded gray, stayed tied to that shaded post all day. His wagon stood right close by the barn while they loaded it down till it sagged. One hogshead of tobacco, high as my waist. Bolts of the same cloth they’d all be wearing next year. Three casks of apple brandy. All in barter.

I knew everything from the beginning. Can’t say I didn’t. But it’s like Phoebe told me, everything’s fine so long as you find a way to manage it. It’s when you can’t see what you’re dealing with that you head into trouble.

Somehow it fell to me to carry Wash his supper. Everybody else stayed crossways with him but I was curious. Took him some field peas and greens with a few slices of smoked ham. Miller made sure about the meat. When I got to the stall they kept him in, Quinn sat by the door on a crate. He tipped his square chin up at me as he reached out for one of the two bowls I carried. He pulled the latch back on the bottom door till it swung open and nodded for me to go in. I bent to step under the top door he’d left bolted shut.

With the late light, I couldn’t see Wash too good but I felt him there. Heavy, like something fell off a shelf, and sitting real still. Then he came clear. Sitting on the floor in the deep straw, leaning his back against the far wall, resting his elbows on drawn up knees. He wasn’t doing nothing but watching his fingers twirling a piece of straw.

Even from where I stood, I could see the scar snaking through the edge of his hairline. Deep enough to hold water. Right at his temple. Everybody told a different story on what happened but it should have killed him sure enough. Made me wonder who it was had managed to keep him here on this earth and what he could see out of the one good eye he had left.

At first, he seemed to me like all the rest of these men, worn out from a long day, except he wasn’t sitting around with the rest of everybody. Tired feels less worn out when you got a few folks to sit with. Have a sip. Try and shake the day off.

It didn’t hit me till I stood there holding his supper in my hand, watching him twirl his piece of straw. Wash was further from having folks than just about anybody I ever came across. Nobody to sit with at the end of this long day or any other day either.

I always thought I was the only one who stayed steady looking back at the world from the far end of a long rope. But watching him sit there on the floor of that stall, finally looking up at me with that one good eye and his other eye roaming the dusty wall over my shoulder, I caught myself wanting to trace that R brand fading into his cheek with my finger. I could tell he’d looked down a long rope himself and likely still did most days.

He must have took hold of my thoughts, because without ever moving, he bristled like a cat. Slammed his eyes shut right in my face, even as he stayed steady watching me. Made me feel like I’d stepped inside his yard without asking. What set me back even more was the way he looked at me after he got all bowed up. Sat way back inside himself and ran his eyes over me, just as cold as you want to be. Like he was adding up some parts.

I been looked at like that plenty and didn’t need anymore of it so I edged over to set his bowl down beside him. Then I stepped away, careful not to turn my back on him. It wasn’t till he reached to take the bowl and was well into eating when he stopped and looked up at me again.

I don’t know why I was still standing there. I turned right around and left. Ducked under that top door and bolted the bottom one behind me. Both that day and the next till Wash was good and gone. That’s how things went between us at first, but it’s a whole different story now.

Richardson

When Quinn came to me with this idea for Wash, I turned away from it. I remember thinking, surely not. But Quinn kept after me, saying supply was drying up and we could make a killing.

We sure as hell needed to make something. My place had fallen apart after I rode off to soldier in 1812, determined to whip England once and for all. Forever trying to make my contribution in what turned out to be a damn useless war.

It took me three years to get home and three more to drag my place back into some kind of working order. But I had set too many deals in motion at once so when the bottom fell from the market, there I sat. Dogpaddling. Trying to paper us out of the hole.

I remember even the day. It was hot as hell and dry. We had been without rain for nearly sixty days and my palms stuck to the pages of my letterbooks, leaving sweaty smears alongside my columns of numbers. Quinn came into my office with his jaw set. No matter how short and bandy-legged, Quinn was often right, which was why I’d taken him on as a partner despite his lack of capital. Soon as he closed the door behind him, he set his shoulder to the wheel, relentless as a terrier. Talking incessantly about the waves of new settlers moving through west Tennessee into the new territories of Arkansas and Louisiana. What they could mean for our markets.

“They’re all headed for the South West, trying to set themselves up in the cotton game. All that new land going to cotton, you’d have to be blind not to see what will happen to our prices. They’ll drop till there’s no way for people like us to make any money. As for negroes, they’ll go sky high. You know they will.”

As I ran my eyes over my columns which so steadfastly refused to add up, I had to admit he had a point. What I couldn’t get over was how easy it laid itself out before me. Stared straight at me, tugging on my sleeve. Even as I resisted Quinn’s logic, I was counting the numbers in my head. How could I not, with the debts I carried?

“It’s right there for the taking,” Quinn told me again and again until I turned my mind to face it.

Send Wash over to my old friend Miller’s on a Friday, put him with three or four per day. Even if only some take, that will mean ten new negroes, worth two hundred apiece once weaned. And with his midwife Pallas on hand to catch every single one, Miller can get the whole two hundred for each before he has to spend anything at all.

“Two thousand to him has got to mean at least two hundred for us. Even in barter, it’s worth it. You know it is.”

Two hundred to me for sending Wash over to Miller’s on a Friday. Over to Miller’s and then over to the next place and the next.

I do question what I would have done if I hadn’t already been wondering how in the hell to handle Wash. With the way he kept cutting the buck and tomcatting around, I knew I had to do something or my whole house was liable to come down on me. You can’t let one get away with it. That’s like having a crack in your cup. Before you know it, all your water runs out.

I saw it clear as daylight in my mind’s eye. My wagon taking him there and back, the money in my hand. And Wash thrashing and cussing but somehow fitting the shoe right to his foot, almost in spite of himself. Making it fit.

We all did it. It’s just that some of us did it more and better. Smoother somehow. Quinn called it the Red Sea. Said the way parts for me. Says I was born to it. Not only the silver spoon but the cup and the bowl too.

I don’t know about that. All I knew was I had to do something about Wash. I remember thinking this work might even appeal to him.

Wash

Richardson had me at the top of his page. I knew it clear as day before I ever saw his damn book. He wrote everything down.

Somebody brought a mare to put with his stud, he'd fetch his paper down to the barn. Unroll it all crackling then tack it up on the wall where they could go over it together. Start with the name of that Eclipse racehorse written at the top, then branching down and down till his finger found his stud, with all those lines left empty for time to come. Not that I can read, but I can sure watch a man pointing to a word and saying it.

I knew where he was headed. It was me leading that grey stud into the sun. Walking him out for his neighbor Carpenter to see. Horse was past twenty but still acting bold, so I kept the chain looped over his nose. Rested my palm on his withers to keep him calm.

I felt their eyes on me too but that was nothing new. Some folks stare at you like to eat you up. Hunting some knowing behind your eyes just as hard as they don’t want to find it.

It was him seeing me with that horse. I know it sure as I'm standing here. It was Richardson watching me work his stud for Carpenter come to breed his mare that hooked the two ideas in his mind. After that, it was just a matter of time.

See, I know how they do. White folks like to stay in those books. They carry and they keep and they dig in their books, like nothing matters that don’t get written down in some book somewhere. Like that's the only way they can know for sure what happened.

They'll write down who they are and what they did. And their daddies and theirs too. Put it all in a book then close it up and put it on the shelf. Just to know it's there so they can sleep at night. Like if they don’t get written down somewhere and they shut their eyes for a minute, they might disappear.

But there ain’t no writing this down. No book to put this in. Some of us shut our eyes at night and wake up in the morning, not written down nowhere. And still don’t disappear.

Nobody who was not here will know what went on. Life looks different from the inside than the outside but they think all they got to go on is what gets written down.

This story will come out. That's what I tell myself. Won’t be till after we’re dead and gone but we won’t really be gone cause it don’t work like that. All these books and all these white folks, thinking the world is forever passing away. All trying to make their mark, trying to be a big man. But ain’t none of us going nowhere.

We stay right here. All of us, all the time. Black and white and everything in between. All together, all the time. That's the kicker.

Time treats me different even now. I can’t stand outside my story to save my life. I keep trying to tell it without falling right back in but soon as I start to look back, I’m neck deep before I know it. Current catches me and I’m gone. Each one of all those Friday afternoons when he sent me off in that damn wagon sits right here, breathing close on the back of my neck.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"[An] unflinching, stunningly imagined debut." —Vanity Fair

"In this deeply researched, deeply felt debut novel, documentarian Wrinkle aims a sure pen at a crucial moment following America’s War of Independence. . . . The novel well evokes the tragedy not only of [its] lovers’ untenable positions, but also that of their master and his fragile country." —Publishers Weekly

"Heart-rending . . . Wrinkle has written a remarkable first novel, one that will haunt readers with the questions it raises, and the disturbing glimpse it offers into an unfathomable world." —Booklist

"Wrinkle bears witness to the inhumanity of slavery . . . A moving and heart-rending novel." —Kirkus Reviews

"Wrinkle masterfully takes us on a powerful journey through the darkest past and present of this country, boldly addressing the chasm of racial divide with the scalpel of a gruesome truth. Wash is the epitome of courage and determination to heal the central wound of this culture." —Malidoma Patrice Somé, author of The Healing Wisdom of Africa

"Wash is bold, unflinching, and when finished, certain to haunt the reader for a long, long time." —Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Cove

"Boldly conceived and brilliantly written, Margaret Wrinkle's Wash reveals the horrible human predation of slavery and its nest of nightmares. With a truthfulness even beyond Faulkner, Wrinkle makes her novelistic debut in a monumental work of unflinching imagination." —Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife, Four Spirits, Abundance, and Adam and Eve

"Margaret Wrinkle’s Wash is a marvelous window into the world of nineteenth century American slavery—a powerful fusion of knowledge and imagination." —Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls Rising, Master of the Crossroads, and The Stone that the Builder Refused

"A significant and hugely troubling book." —Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy, Town Smokes, The Wrecking Yard, and Dogs of God

"This majestic, beautifully-written novel will both break your heart and make it wiser." —Charles Gaines, author of Stay Hungry, Pumping Iron, A Family Place, and The Next Valley Over

"This exquisite novel is a gift of healing. It exposes the dark and fearsome sin that stains our history, and confronts the guilt that lurks in our collective American soul. But in the genius of the telling we are led to the tenderness at the bone, the humanity at the core, and buoyed by joy." —Beverly Swerling, author of Bristol House

"A unique and powerful story, Wash tells a chapter of our past that we would rather look away from. Margaret Wrinkle makes sure that we cannot. Her whole life has led up to this book, and she writes it in a sure and captivating voice, augmented by her remarkable pictures." —Kevin Baker, author of Strivers Row, Dreamland, and Paradise Alley

Meet the Author

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Margaret Wrinkle is a writer, filmmaker, educator, and visual artist. Her award-winning documentary, broken\ground, about the racial divide in her historically conflicted hometown, was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition and was a winner of the Council on Foundations Film Festival.

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Wash 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
By: Margaret Wrinkle Published By Atlantic Monthly Press Age Recommended: Adult Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: 4 Book Blog For: GMTA Review: "Wash" by Margaret Wrinkle was a well written novel of 'personal stories of two people: Wash (slave) and Richardson's (Wash's owner).' Once I picked it up I wasn't able to put down because it was one was really very fascinating read about slavery from this point of view that kept me very interested. I found the characters very well developed and interesting. This was a interesting read that in the 1800's where the buying and selling of slaves in western territories were illegal and this is where we find that Wash has been hired out by his owner to 'breed.' I did find the 'breeding' practices somewhat very cruel. With me be a Afro American some of this was very hard for me especially some of the violence in this novel. However, this was well written and if you are looking for a book with some history, life of slaves then you have come to the right place for "Wash" will give it to you and yes I would recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the subject matter is painful at times, the reader must realize it's part of the story. The writing is breath-takingly beautiful; I was entranced.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got through 13 pages about slave breeding ro raise money- not my kind of book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MiamiKel More than 1 year ago
What an incredible step into the history of our country in the times of slavery, retribution, and ultimately, humanity.   This book was, at times, unbelievably difficult to read.  It happened, yes - many books before this one have told us so ~  but Ms. Wrinkle's contribution in powerful prose brings it to life. From wielding the branding iron and hearing it's impact on skin, to the powerful connection of compassionate owners, deception, redemption, and love found in rarest forms ,it tells us clearly that the human race goes on in spite of it's tragedies and injustices.  I simply could NOT put this book down.  My heart bled for Wash (Washington) and "his story" as it unfolded, told in the form of the main characters intwined.  Each 'chapter' of the book switches from character to character, telling it in sequential order to give it life. Absolutely PHENOMINAL read, perhaps the very best read of the year 2013! 5 stars, earned hands-down.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book on the human spirit's abilty to thrive under the most difficult circomstances. This book provides a glimpse into slavery in America. Providing views from both slave and slave holder. A must read !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NookGirl83 More than 1 year ago
A great story about how we are all connected, and while we may be a slave or freeman, we have our stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing story left me sad, surprised, and with a better understanding of slavery and the slave owner's need to solve his economic problems at the horrific cost to his slaves. I had never thought of an owner making a slave produce children for his economic stability, nor the impact on so many. I found it interesting to learn about these three people and their world of master/slave and the repurcussions. Interesting read for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a special book.....A compelling story, memorable characters, and written in a poetic style that will capture your heart and emotions and pull you into the story.....It made me smile, tearful, and most of all thoughtful....An amazing first book from an thrilling and exciting talent...... 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MontanaMari More than 1 year ago
Wash was a heart touching story of slavery. It was a bit confusing at times, but the character of Wash was strong and vivid. A good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this beautifully written book. It tells a tragic story about slavory but also how we are all connected.