Reviews for Freeman


Library Journal Express Reviews
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Pitts's (Before I Forget) bleakly powerful novel explores slavery's legacy through Sam, a Philadelphia freedman, who takes on a new name and returns to the post-Civil War South to find the wife he had left behind 15 years earlier. Pitts also weaves in the story of an impetuous white Bostonian, whose good intentions to combat the effects of slavery lead to disaster. The two story lines become entwined at the very end in Mississippi, but along the way the author informs us of how slavery twisted the psyche of Americans of all races. Love, politics, terror, murder, and deceit are deftly mixed to illustrate the confusion and pain that followed the end of our national conflict. Verdict For anyone who might doubt how demeaning slavery was or wonder why the effects still haunt us today, this is the novel to read.--W. Keith McCoy, Somerset Cty. Lib. Syst., Bridgewater, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 July #4

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Pitts once again demonstrates his gift for historical fiction; having examined the African-American experience of the 20th century in 2009's Before I Forget, he turns his lens to the painful aftermath of the Civil War in his newest. The traumatic period is viewed from the perspectives of two very different, but equally inspirational protagonists. As soon as the end of the fighting has been announced, runaway slave Sam can only think of reuniting with his wife, Tilda, whom he has not seen in 15 years. Despite the difficulties of travelling from his current home of Philadelphia to Buford, Mississippi, and his uncertainty about how warmly she will welcome him, Sam perseveres. His encounters in the South, which jarringly assert that the end of the war does not equal an end to bigotry and hatred, parallel those of Prudence Kent. An affluent white woman from Boston, Kent is headed to Buford to establish a school for former slaves, an idealistic vision that rapidly earns the violent wrath of white Southerners. In lyrical prose, Pitts unflinchingly and movingly portrays the period's cruelties, and triumphs in capturing the spirit of the times through eminently-identifiable lead characters. (May)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Pitts once again demonstrates his gift for historical fiction; having examined the African-American experience of the 20th century in 2009's Before I Forget, he turns his lens to the painful aftermath of the Civil War in his newest. The traumatic period is viewed from the perspectives of two very different, but equally inspirational protagonists. As soon as the end of the fighting has been announced, runaway slave Sam can only think of reuniting with his wife, Tilda, whom he has not seen in 15 years. Despite the difficulties of travelling from his current home of Philadelphia to Buford, Mississippi, and his uncertainty about how warmly she will welcome him, Sam perseveres. His encounters in the South, which jarringly assert that the end of the war does not equal an end to bigotry and hatred, parallel those of Prudence Kent. An affluent white woman from Boston, Kent is headed to Buford to establish a school for former slaves, an idealistic vision that rapidly earns the violent wrath of white Southerners. In lyrical prose, Pitts unflinchingly and movingly portrays the period's cruelties, and triumphs in capturing the spirit of the times through eminently-identifiable lead characters. (May)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

----------------------