This is the story of Cassius. Cassius lives on a Virginia tobacco plantation called Sweetsmoke during the Civil War. While Cassius is a fictional character, the story itself of what life was like for a slave back in 1862 is in fact, based on truth. The author, David Fuller, draws us completely into his characters and this story.
Cassius is an amazing character, by far my favorite. He is a bright and strong man who has suffered many hardships of his own including beatings, yet in this novel he will risk everything, including his life to find the killer of Emoline Justice. Emoline was a freed black woman, who after Cassius had been severely beaten, took him in and cared for him. Not only that but she taught him to read, thereby opening a whole new world to him. He cared for her deeply and felt an overwhelming rage over her death. This novel follows Cassius as he figures out who her killer was and takes his revenge.
The writing in this novel is phenomenal. The author has a way with words that pulls you so deeply into this story that you can almost feel yourself the awful way of life that most of the slaves had. He plunges us into their daily lives of working in the fields to their never ending chores to the humiliation they suffer not only from beatings but just from the way they were treated on a daily basis.
David Fuller spent eight years researching this novel and it shows-this novel is rich in its descriptions and characters; the writing superb. While the subject matter is disturbing in parts, it is engrossing tale of life for the slaves and plantation owners back in 1862 during the Civil War.
I read this novel in a couple of days. I just couldn’t put it down. I needed to see what would happen to Cassius next and more like what he was going to do next. You really need to pick up this novel and experience this amazing story for yourself. I’m positive it will stay with me for a long time and I highly recommend it! I received this as an advanced reader’s copy from Harper Collins Canada and I’m so glad I did.