The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.



Property (B) by Valerie Martin was winner of the Orange Prize the prize awarded to new women writers. A friend recommended this book to me after my recent trip to New Orleans a city filled with history.

The narrator, Manon, was born and raised in New Orleans prior to the Civil War. Her father was a prominent plantation owner who of course owned slaves. Upon her marriage, Manon was given one particular slave to attend her in her new home. Sarah, Manon’s “property”, quickly became the “property” of her new husband and his personal mistress. Manon detested him and the children born to Sarah.

I have read many accounts of slavery, slave owners and plantation life. While I did not agree with Manon’s politics regarding slavery it was interesting to regard it from a woman’s point of view. Property is a quick read but the images portrayed throughout are not easy to forget.

Not quite sure who I would recommend it to. Perhaps someone like myself who has read many other versions of this same story. The point of view here is different and interesting.



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