Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Book of the Week: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volume 2 : Kingdom on the Waves

I love this sequel to the first historical novel that I think was based on a true story about Octavian Nothing, a slave used in cruel experiments by his master, Mr. Gitney. In the second book, Octavian escapes his master with the help of Gitney's colleague, Dr. Trefusis. They are on the run from the law and seeking refuge in Boston at the start of the Revolutionary War. They find a boarding house, but can't stay until Octavian finds a job because Dr. Trefusis is too sick to work.

Octavian finds work at an orchestra playing his beloved violin until other musicians convince him to join the British army, where American slaves are promised freedom. Octavian feels torn between loyalty to America, the only home he's known and his mentor who saved his life. However, the hypocrisy of White Americans talking about freedom while still owning slaves hurts him too much. Octavian also wants to play his music as a free man, so he fights for the British.

I can't wait to read all 500 pages of this book. Though, again, the 18th century language is hard to follow at times, it's still worth looking up those words to understand this amazing story about an extraordinary young man trying to find peace in such a violent time in America's history.

No comments:

Post a Comment