Dear America: I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly, The Diary of Patsy, A Freed Girl (Mars Bluff, South Carolina 1865) by Joyce Hansen

i-thought-my-soul-would-rise-and-fly-by-joyce-hansen-on-bookdragon1-800x1155The protagonist of this Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel is Patsy, a freed slave down South after the Civil War, who walks with a limp and stutters. She is believed by most to be simple and dull-minded, but what she lacks in the realms of speech and expression, she makes up for in her rare ability to read and write quite proficiently, which she learned while attending to her former master’s children during their schooling. Though Patsy and the other former slaves are technically free, nothing about their lives and their work has truly changed. Most simply do not know where to go, or are indebted in some way and forced to continue serving the same master. This frustrates the African American community and the author does well in expressing the seeming hopelessness and anticlimax after the Civil War.

Lots of vivid characters, an interesting insight into the politics among servants and the dysfunctional households whom they served. A fairly good read and a satisfying ending.

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