Monday, August 8, 2011

Roots Read-Along (second to last section)

Well, Tom is definitely my favorite protagonist so far in this generational saga.  Solid, honest, circumspect, decent, and wildly talented as an artisan-blacksmith, he's got all the qualities his dad Chicken George lacks, and none of the arrogance of Kunta Kinte either.  Yet he's still a man's man, so to speak.  I admire his single-minded pursuit of a useful yet artful modality, and his consistency: two qualities I would like to embody, but sadly don't.

And in this section, with Chicken George in England training a wealthy landowner's birds because he and Massa Lea bet the farm (literally) on a single high-stakes fight and lost, we focus on the remaining family members, sold to newbie slave owners, the Murrays.  As city folk, the Murrays quickly leave it to our focal family to productively farm their inherited plantation, and they support Tom in his rise to become the most prominent blacksmith in the area.

With Tom now married to the beautiful, vibrant, and multi-faceted Irene, and with most of 'Tilda's children all grown up, Chicken George returns to Massa Lea's plantation, learns his family's fate from old and now foggy Miss Matizy, gets Mass Lea drunk, grabs his own "freedom paper" - promised to him just before he was shipped off to England - and rides break-neck to the Murray homestead where he's greeted warmly by his family.

What'll happen next?  I'm a little concerned about 8-months-pregnant Irene, who seems just too good to survive childbirth, based on all the precedents set in this semi-fictional world so far, and I wonder how swiftly we'll move through the Civil War, which is close upon us now.

Want to know how others responded to this enjoyable section?  Hop over to the Roots Readalong at Booksnob...



Sidne,the BCR said...

One day I'm going to get back into this book. I just can't right now. I remember petition i had done at my children school for the eight graders to see the movie when I was shock that their history books omitted the history of slavery and went straight to indenture servants.
My life is topsy now, i hope to join you again for poetry in my post.

Booksnob said...

I can't wait to read the conclusion and am wondering myself about the Civil War. I can't help but think the book is not really going to be over. There has to be more. I wonder if Haley wrote about his family during the Reconstruction years and in the 1900's. Did his ancestors scatter like the wind once they were free?

Book Snob Wannabe said...

I love this section so much that I ended up finishing the book Tuesday! I just had to know how it ended (even though I own the miniseries and have saw it many times)!! Cannot wait to see what you thought of the last pages on Monday!

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