Forge. Jan. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9781250298454. $27.99. F
DEBUT Remembrance is a stop along the Underground Railroad, a magical pleat in time and space. If the enslaved can find their way to it, they disappear from the slave hunters and from white people altogether, and can live in peace and freedom. Mother Abigail created it and holds it together, but her powers are beginning to wane. Boundaries are weakening. Margot makes her way to Remembrance, after unimaginable loss as a slave in New Orleans. When her master succumbs to yellow fever, the widow sells Margo and her sister, Veronique, away from their beloved grandmother. Then Margot loses her sister to illness as they struggle to find their way to the Railroad. Her pain and loss begin to unlock her power. Can she be the person who keeps Remembrance as a hidden pocket of hope? Then, in modern-day Cleveland, a Haitian immigrant is struggling to make a life as a nursing assistant. How does Gaelle tie back to the past?
VERDICT This book deserves to be a breakout hit. Woods’s magical realist take on the black female experience will have huge appeal to readers of Marlon James and Tara Conklin.
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