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Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite
A Slave of the Shadows by Naomi Finley tells the story of Willow Hendricks and her life at the Livingstone Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina during the mid 1800s. Willow finds herself increasingly disturbed by the treatment of the slaves on not only her own plantation, but on neighbouring ones too. She is raised by Mammy, a black slave, and Mammy’s daughter becomes her best friend. Willow is tormented by the little knowledge she has of her own mother, and resentful of her father who is strict and uncompromising. Willow makes friends with Whitney Barry from a neighbouring plantation and together they set out to try to make life better for the slaves, and to fight against the slaves’ oppression. However, the actions of Willow and Whitney threaten to get out of hand and when Willow finally finds out the truth of her past, she realises that life will never be the same again.
The author, Naomi Finley, has skilfully crafted an epic story of oppression and obsession set in the deep south during a time when equality was unheard of and slavery was the norm. The characters of Willow and Whitney are perfectly developed, and the descriptions of life in these times is both upsetting and awe-inspiring. This is absolutely a book that has to be read if possible in one sitting, because it is impossible to put down. Each chapter leaves the reader hanging and consistent reading is compelling. Well done to an author that not only has a message to portray, but has done so in a professional and incredible way. An amazing book, and I, for one, can’t wait for the sequel. I enjoyed it immensely.