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The critically acclaimed and Whiting Award–winning author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman returns with an unforgettable story about the meaning of freedom.   Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson was all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, had a vision for their future together: Libertie would go The critically acclaimed and Whiting Award–winning author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman returns with an unforgettable story about the meaning of freedom.   Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson was all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, had a vision for their future together: Libertie would go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother, who can pass, Libertie has skin that is too dark. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come.   Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and rich with historical detail, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new novel resonates in our times and is perfect for readers of Brit Bennett, Min Jin Lee, and Yaa Gyasi.


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The critically acclaimed and Whiting Award–winning author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman returns with an unforgettable story about the meaning of freedom.   Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson was all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, had a vision for their future together: Libertie would go The critically acclaimed and Whiting Award–winning author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman returns with an unforgettable story about the meaning of freedom.   Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson was all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, had a vision for their future together: Libertie would go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother, who can pass, Libertie has skin that is too dark. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come.   Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and rich with historical detail, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new novel resonates in our times and is perfect for readers of Brit Bennett, Min Jin Lee, and Yaa Gyasi.

30 review for Libertie

  1. 5 out of 5

    AnnaLuce

    / / / Read more reviews on my blog / / / 3½ stars (possibly to be rounded up to 4) “I saw my mother raise a man from the dead. It still didn't help him much, my love, she told me. But I saw her do it all the same. That's how I knew she was magic.” I was hooked by Libertie's opening paragraph. Set during and after the American Civil War Kaitlyn Greenidge's novel is narrated by Libertie the daughter of a Black female doctor. As the child of a free-woman Libertie is born free at a time when slavery / / / Read more reviews on my blog / / / 3½ stars (possibly to be rounded up to 4) “I saw my mother raise a man from the dead. It still didn't help him much, my love, she told me. But I saw her do it all the same. That's how I knew she was magic.” I was hooked by Libertie's opening paragraph. Set during and after the American Civil War Kaitlyn Greenidge's novel is narrated by Libertie the daughter of a Black female doctor. As the child of a free-woman Libertie is born free at a time when slavery was yet to be abolished. But unlike her mother, who is light-skinned and able to study medicine by 'passing', Libertie herself is dark-skinned, and because of this she experiences both racism and the prejudices of those who are 'colorstruck'. Cathy, although not a demonstrative mother, clearly cares about Libertie and has trained her since a young age in the medical arts. While under her mother's tutelage Libertie discovers that some conditions and or people cannot be cured, which causes her to doubt her mother. When one of her mother's patients, a man Libertie was fond of, fails to recover, Libertie partly blames her mother and grows increasingly disillusioned by her profession. Sensing her daughter's detachment, Cathy enrols Libertie at Cunningham College in Ohio where she will be the only female medical student. Libertie, who by this point has already begun to chafe against her mother's expectations, is far more drawn by the music department, and in particular, by the voices of Louisa and Experience, also knows as the Graces. “Music at night, music after dark, music finding its way to you across sweetgrass, can feel almost like magic.” Libertie longs to belong to them, but, in spite of her attempts to form a friendship with the Graces, the bond between the two women is impenetrable. Greenidge's articulates Libertie's loneliness and yearning with lyric precision. It was easy to understand and sympathize with Libertie, her wish to be free of other people's visions of who she should be. We also understand how complex her relationship with her mother is: having grown without a father or other relatives Cathy is everything to Libertie. I found this first half of the novel to be but poignant and engaging. Greenidge does not shy away from discussing the realities of slavery, racism, colorism, or sexism. Yet, her narrative does not dwell on pain and suffering. There are many moments of beauty and empathy, and I found Libertie's voice to be utterly captivating. The latter half of the novel is where things get a bit messy. Libertie becomes entangled with Emmanuel, a young man from Haiti. While their first interactions had both chemistry and potential, their romance happens way too fast. Libertie's feelings toward Emmanuel aren't clearly addressed, which was weird since up to that point readers were privy to her innermost feelings and or thoughts. And then, bam, all of a sudden Libertie is in Haiti with Emmanuel and things there take a vaguely Jane Eyresque turn. While the descriptions of Haiti, from its history to its physical landscapes, were vivid, and there were many thought-provoking discussions on religion and culture, I remained unconvinced by Libertie's motivations to move there. I wish the story had kept its focus on her and Cathy or her and the Graces, as I did not really feel the 'love' between her and Emmanuel. Their relationship was rushed and once in Haiti it never truly develops or progresses. His family drama steals the limelight, and although it did allow the narrative to touch upon some compelling issues, I just could not bring myself to believe in Libertie or Emmanuel's motives. Cathy's presence is relegated once more to letters that Libertie chooses not answer. The finale was both predictable and left a few too many questions unanswered. Nevertheless, I truly enjoyed Greenidge's writing. I found that the inclusion of poetry, music, and fragments from Libertie/Cathy's letters added a layer of depth to the story. While I wasn't blown away by the latter half of the novel nor its conclusion I would still recommend this as it is written in lyrical prose and it presents readers with a nuanced mother-daughter relationship while also delving into America's history and navigating issues such as racism, colorism, sexism, grief, and, as the title and heroine's name suggest, liberty. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    The only good poem I’ve ever written is you. A daughter is a poem. A daughter is a kind of psalm. You, in the world, responding to me, is a song I made. I cannot make another. In Kaitlyn Greenidge’s sophomore novel Libertie we are taken to Brooklyn where we meet Libertie and her mother Cathy a free Black practising physician. With the death of her father, Libertie is raised by her very strong mother who is known as a level-headed physician for Black people. With more enslaved persons taking t The only good poem I’ve ever written is you. A daughter is a poem. A daughter is a kind of psalm. You, in the world, responding to me, is a song I made. I cannot make another. In Kaitlyn Greenidge’s sophomore novel Libertie we are taken to Brooklyn where we meet Libertie and her mother Cathy a free Black practising physician. With the death of her father, Libertie is raised by her very strong mother who is known as a level-headed physician for Black people. With more enslaved persons taking their freedom her mother’s house gets fuller and fuller. While her mother’s dream is for her to become a physician like her, Libertie doesn’t think that is the path for her. This is a coming-of-age story about Libertie, how she views the changing world around her. This is what I would call addictive reading. I could not put this book down and when I did put it down, I kept thinking about it. I loved how well researched and developed the characters, especially the women were in this book. The theme of feminism, freedom, mental illness, mother-daughter relationship, colourism and passing were thoroughly executed. First let me say, I cannot remember reading a book where free Black Americans journey to Haiti to start a life. I really enjoyed how the author explored this in light of history, culture and religion. For Libertie who is a free Black Woman journeying to Haiti with her Husband who while he is Black, can also pass for white. There was so much to unpack and I think the author did such a superb job of showing us life in Haiti from a Black American perspective. We see how religion was weaponized and how Haitians who wanted to have an education had to give up so much. I wanted more of this. A free Black Woman Doctor living in Brooklyn during the time of slavery, I could not get enough of it. The historical look into this was well executed. I think I enjoyed all the experiments that were done and how herbs were used to treat those in need. I loved that the author took it a step further by showing that while enslaved people were free, the impact of being enslaved has lasting effects on their mental health. That for me, was so nuanced, heart break and deeply impactful. Their bodies are here with us in emancipation, but their minds are not free There is the theme of passing and colorism that the author executed on meticulously. Libertie is dark, while her mother could pass for white. We see the constant microaggression and biases towards Libertie because of her colour and how her mother was sometimes able to slide under the radar. I think what stood out for me was how Libertie was viewed because of her skin by other Black people. If you are looking for a book with strong mother-daughter theme, this is it. Greenidge writes this theme so convincingly and wanted more of it. How we see the mother through the daughter’s eyes and vice versa was just…. Wow! Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There was so much explored and at some points I wished the author had focused on just one thing but it all came together. I did feel sometimes the character motivation wasn’t fully convincing, case in point, Libertie running off with her husband. I also felt some of the storyline was tied up, but that could just be me. A solid read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    [3.5] Libertie lives in the shadow of her successful mother, a freeborn black doctor, and struggles to find a place for herself. Set during Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, an all Black college in Ohio and her husband's home in Haiti - I enjoyed the historical detail. I also appreciate Greenridge's writing and her nuanced character portrayals. For me, at least in my current mood, this novel moves too slowly. I was always aware of the page count which surprisingly is only 323 pages. [3.5] Libertie lives in the shadow of her successful mother, a freeborn black doctor, and struggles to find a place for herself. Set during Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, an all Black college in Ohio and her husband's home in Haiti - I enjoyed the historical detail. I also appreciate Greenridge's writing and her nuanced character portrayals. For me, at least in my current mood, this novel moves too slowly. I was always aware of the page count which surprisingly is only 323 pages.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    4.5 stars From girlhood to womanhood, Libertie is one woman's journey to freedom—both mental and physical—inspired by the life of one of America's first Black female doctors. Talk about some stunning writing and storytelling. Writing: ★★★★★ Plot/Pacing: ★★★★★ Characters: ★★★★ I think this book is going to be the source of a lot of discussion this year. It feels like a story that will last, not the least because of its captivating writing and strong sense of character. Libertie is a free born Black wo 4.5 stars From girlhood to womanhood, Libertie is one woman's journey to freedom—both mental and physical—inspired by the life of one of America's first Black female doctors. Talk about some stunning writing and storytelling. Writing: ★★★★★ Plot/Pacing: ★★★★★ Characters: ★★★★ I think this book is going to be the source of a lot of discussion this year. It feels like a story that will last, not the least because of its captivating writing and strong sense of character. Libertie is a free born Black woman growing up in Brooklyn in the mid-1800s. Her mother is a practicing doctor. The two women and their female assistant, Lenore, operate a medical practice for Black people in the New York area, and occasionally for white women, too, as Libertie's mother can pass for white. In this uniquely matriarchal and progressive bubble, Libertie is raised. She is raised to be educated, to read and write and learn medicinal treatments, and to follow in her mother's footsteps as a free Black woman with ambitions of her own. She grows up with an abundance of food, education, and sense of self in a world where many Black individuals are still actively enslaved and seeking freedom. But like many daughters, Libertie doesn't necessarily recognize the unique circumstances of her mother's efforts as a gift to savor... she needs to carve her own path, regardless of the consequences. Spanning from Brooklyn to Ohio to Haiti and beyond, Libertie was a physical, mental, and emotional journey that will remain with me for years to come. I thought this novel was beautiful. The writing was show-stopping—Greenidge's prose lifted me into the story immediately and I found myself swept along for the ride in a consuming reading experience. Even though I disagreed with many of Libertie's actions and feelings, I couldn't help but read her story. Complex themes of racial identity, divides between free born Black people and those escaping from enslaved situations in the American South, what it means to be female and Black in 1800s America, classicism, religion, a hint of magical realism... this novel packed in a lot in its 300-some pages. I thought it was masterfully done. My one caveat to the reading experience is minor, and most likely personal. I found Libertie's refusal to trust and follow her mother's guidance to be intense. This might be because my own relationship with my mother is very close, but for whatever reason I found Libertie's decisions to be rash and filled with an odd level of anger and distrust. Clearly a personal reason, but still wanted to mention it here in case other readers feel the same way. Overall, a beautiful story that I hope receives a wide readership this year. One of my favorite reads of 2021. Thank you to Algonquin Books for my copy in exchange for an honest review. Blog | Instagram

  5. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    3.5 stars. Thought-provoking and emotional, Kaitlyn Greenidge's Libertie is a reflection on what freedom really means and how relationships of all kinds are sometimes the things keeping you from being free. “How is it possible to become free when you do not even know who you are?” Libertie is a girl growing up in post-Civil War Brooklyn. Her fearless mother is a doctor, and Libertie marvels at the things she can do. And her mother has a plan—Libertie will become a doctor, too, and they can have 3.5 stars. Thought-provoking and emotional, Kaitlyn Greenidge's Libertie is a reflection on what freedom really means and how relationships of all kinds are sometimes the things keeping you from being free. “How is it possible to become free when you do not even know who you are?” Libertie is a girl growing up in post-Civil War Brooklyn. Her fearless mother is a doctor, and Libertie marvels at the things she can do. And her mother has a plan—Libertie will become a doctor, too, and they can have a practice together. While her mother is light-skinned enough to pass, Libertie is constantly reminded her skin is too dark. As she grows, she starts to chafe under her mother’s rules and plans, and wonders if her only course of freedom is doing what someone else wants her to do. When she meets one of her mother’s protégés, she is utterly charmed by him. He promises her a life as his equal back at his home in Haiti, so she abandons everything to follow him. It’s not long, of course, before she learns that the promise of freedom he sold her is an illusion, and that the role of a Haitian wife is actually subservient. As Libertie considers her future, she must make a decision which could truly determine the course of her life. Greenidge is an exceptional writer. I was so blown away by the characters she created, how evocative the different settings were where the book took place, and the realizations Libertie made along her journey. One thing, however: I would’ve loved an epilogue for this book, because I thought the ending happened abruptly. I’d love to know what happened after the decision Libertie made. I was honored to be part of the tour for Libertie . Algonquin Books provided me with a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. Check out my list of the best books of the last decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela Libertie Sampson's mother was a practicing physician in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, New York. Her mother had a vision for her - to be a physician like herself. Her entire life, her mother molded Libertie to be a doctor with hopes that one day they would practice medicine together. Dreams are wonderful, except when your dream differs from the one who has "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela Libertie Sampson's mother was a practicing physician in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, New York. Her mother had a vision for her - to be a physician like herself. Her entire life, her mother molded Libertie to be a doctor with hopes that one day they would practice medicine together. Dreams are wonderful, except when your dream differs from the one who has put all her hopes and dreams on you. Libertie loves music and wants something else in life. But what? "How is it possible to become free when you do not even know who you are?" Libertie's mother is a free woman with light skin and could "pass" and practiced medicine during the time of slavery. She helped others and at times was praised and at times looked down upon. Libertie's skin is dark, and she experiences racism and race bias. She has her own set of dreams and wants to break free and make her own life choices. When she meets a man from Haiti, she is promised to be treated as an equal and she agrees to marry him and move to Haiti. But soon questions what is equality and what is freedom? What does freedom mean? Beautifully written this is a coming-of-age tale about a young woman who questions freedom throughout her young life. Freedom from underneath her mother's expectations, freedom from race bias, freedom to be equal, freedom to make her own choices, freedom to speak her own mind, freedom to love and freedom to decide her fate. This is a book about love, courage, about family, about sexism, about race, about passing, about freedom, about colorism, and about a mother daughter relationship. Kaitlyn Greenidge will grab you immediately with her opening scene and will keep you invested until her final sentence. Her research is impressive as is her depiction of relationships, expectations, and the hardships of life during that time. I found this book to be both thought provoking and riveting. Her writing as I mentioned is beautiful and at times lyrical. An engrossing book which should not be missed. ***Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States I received a copy of this book from Algonquin Books and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... I was not sure what to expect when I plunked Libertie from my staggering TBR. I had not read Kaitlyn Greenidge before, but I was drawn to both the themes in the jacket description and the novel’s unique setting. I have not encountered many stories set in Haiti, and I could not resist jumping at the opportunity to indulge my interest in culturally diverse historicals. Greenidge’s novel is not a strict biographic fiction, but b Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... I was not sure what to expect when I plunked Libertie from my staggering TBR. I had not read Kaitlyn Greenidge before, but I was drawn to both the themes in the jacket description and the novel’s unique setting. I have not encountered many stories set in Haiti, and I could not resist jumping at the opportunity to indulge my interest in culturally diverse historicals. Greenidge’s novel is not a strict biographic fiction, but both Cathy and Libertie Sampson are modeled on real people. The inspiration for Dr. Cathy Sampson came from the life and achievements of Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Steward, the first African American woman to earn a medical degree in New York state. Dr. Steward had two children with her first husband, Rev. William G. McKinney, and while I could not find much about either online, I did discover a New York news clipping announcing the marriage of Anna M. McKinney to Louis Holly of Port-au-Prince. I do not know how Greenidge developed her fiction, but I love how she draped her ideas around authentic experiences. The author put her own spin on the story to spotlight notions of race, colorism, gender, feminism, autonomy, and freedom, but the structure of the novel is a compliment to the lives that sparked Greenidge’s imagination in the first place. I do not mean to downplay the thematic material, the underlying motifs of this novel touched my heart, but I feel the decision to explore these ideas through the lens of a mother-daughter relationship took this story to another level. A perceptive, thought-provoking, and illuminating narrative, Libertie is a story well-worth seeking out.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy | Foxy Blogs

    I love the eye-catching cover of Libertie. The story was inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States. The story is told through the daughter, Libertie, a born free Black girl during the Reconstruction era of Brooklyn. The book centers around this mother-daughter relationship from childhood into womanhood. Libertie's mom is a light-skinned Black woman who takes great pride in helping women with medical problems. Libertie is a dark-skinned Black woman who work I love the eye-catching cover of Libertie. The story was inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States. The story is told through the daughter, Libertie, a born free Black girl during the Reconstruction era of Brooklyn. The book centers around this mother-daughter relationship from childhood into womanhood. Libertie's mom is a light-skinned Black woman who takes great pride in helping women with medical problems. Libertie is a dark-skinned Black woman who works under her mother's tutelage. Libertie doesn't like helping the women especially the white women because they act like she is unfit to help them because of her skin color. Her mother sends her off to school to be educated in medical stuff. But while in school Libertie takes on other interests that have nothing to do with her mother's wishes. Libertie eventually leaves school and marries a Haitian man where she is lead to believe she'll be his equal. There's a whole list of problems with his family. At this point, Libertie has broken her mother's heart by pursuing this relationship and going to live with his family far from home. The mother-daughter struggle is relatable. A parent's wishes and desires for their child aren't always the same ones their child desires. Having dreams and mapping out a plan for a child to only have them reject it is crushing. Audiobook source: Hoopla Narrator: Channie Waites Length: 12H 12M

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    Libertie is written in a very lyrically style that immediately sucks you into the story. I loved her voice and thought the narrator did a great job capturing it. Despite it's Reconstruction era setting it's not very graphic in violence against Black people so if that usually deters you from picking up books set within that time period it's not a problem here. This story starts with Libertie as a young girl living with her mother who is one of the few Black women physicians. Her mother has big dre Libertie is written in a very lyrically style that immediately sucks you into the story. I loved her voice and thought the narrator did a great job capturing it. Despite it's Reconstruction era setting it's not very graphic in violence against Black people so if that usually deters you from picking up books set within that time period it's not a problem here. This story starts with Libertie as a young girl living with her mother who is one of the few Black women physicians. Her mother has big dreams of her following in her footsteps and teaches her from a young age to care for people. It was quite fascinating listening to the tales of her mother adding formally enslaved people within their community. One thing this book touched on was the ramifications slavery had on the mental state of those people. How they could be free but their mind is still enslaved. The discussions of colorism were also well done. Libertie's mother is a light skinned close to white woman and that afforded her the opportunity to move through spaces most Black people could not. It also caused the white women to be more trusting to her. When Libertie's mother opens a clinic originally for the freed people it slowly becomes a space for white women to seek care. Libertie and her mother end up at odds over this as the patients often recoil in her presence and her mother lets them treat her terribly instead of standing up for her. Once she comes of age, Libertie is poised to attend medical school but while away realizes the dream isn't exactly for her. Falling in love with a man named Emmanuel who is interning for her mother she decides to quickly marry. He sells her promises of a dream life in Haiti where they can create their own nation. This section touched upon the same anti-Haitianism that we still see present to this day. During this time Libertie must come to understand what it turly means to be a free woman. This book was so addicting that at times I didn't want to stop listening. And it was surprisingly very easy to follow along while doing household tasks which is something I sometimes struggle with when it comes to audiobooks. I was cooking in the kitchen but fully engaged to this at the same time. This one is a very character driven story that is sure to keep you enthralled. https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot.... I received a free copy from Libro FM

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    4.5 stars Libertie is an historical fiction set in the late 1800s. Our titular character is named for her dying father's wish for her to know true freedom. But Libertie, although intelligent, well spoken, and beautiful will struggle to be released from society's strongholds. In the book her mother's character is loosely based on Susan McKinney Steward, the first black doctor in New York state. Although this bit of history is interesting, Libertie is not focused so much on the mother's accomplishm 4.5 stars Libertie is an historical fiction set in the late 1800s. Our titular character is named for her dying father's wish for her to know true freedom. But Libertie, although intelligent, well spoken, and beautiful will struggle to be released from society's strongholds. In the book her mother's character is loosely based on Susan McKinney Steward, the first black doctor in New York state. Although this bit of history is interesting, Libertie is not focused so much on the mother's accomplishments but on the relationship between mother and daughter. Throughout the book we are asked to consider what freedom is in all its nuances and to examine the chains that hold us captive. The book opens with Dr. Sampson raising a man from the dead. Libertie stands in awe of her mother and begs her to teach her how to heal. But she soon realizes that this man -- although he escaped the shackles of slavery and the grip of death -- he is not free. His undying devotion to a dead woman leaves him haunted by her memory and Libertie skeptical about love. Libertie's mother is able to get her medical degree as she passes for white. But she knows this option is not open to her dark skinned daughter. She goes about trying to find a way to ensure her daughter's agency in a new unsure landscape where freedom has just been won for the slave. But in her doing so, she ends up thrusting her aspirations upon Libertie. Despite her status and fair skin our doctor is still bound by other women's perception of her, their judgment and their fickle natures. She is confined by grief over the loss of her husband and family and fear for the safety of her daughter. Her tongue is tied every time a white patient shuns Libertie or remarks on her color. When Libertie travels to Haiti we are able to see the contrast between the two countries. Haiti gains its independence early on and is under the rule of black people. But there still exists a separation between those that serve and those that are in authority. Through these experiences Libertie comes to know that freedom is not just escaping that which binds you, but knowing who you are, what you want and finding the voice to proclaim it boldly.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I'm unsure if this is a forever DNF, but it is a 'right now' DNF. I'm struggling. I made it to 53% through the book. I read the first 154 pages and then switched to the audio in hopes that it would reinvigorate my interest in the story. There were passages that were written beautifully and I was highlighting like crazy, but there is something missing to really bring the story to life for me. I don't feel invested in any of the characters or the story. Maybe I'll try again someday, but when I'm n I'm unsure if this is a forever DNF, but it is a 'right now' DNF. I'm struggling. I made it to 53% through the book. I read the first 154 pages and then switched to the audio in hopes that it would reinvigorate my interest in the story. There were passages that were written beautifully and I was highlighting like crazy, but there is something missing to really bring the story to life for me. I don't feel invested in any of the characters or the story. Maybe I'll try again someday, but when I'm not looking forward to reading or listening - I think its time I move on to something else.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Erwin

    This book started off pretty interesting but got slow. I considered DNFing it a couple times but went ahead and finished it. I didn’t care for the character of Libertie or her mother and there wasn’t enough of a plot for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    "Their need was monstrous." It wasn't only the barn cats that frightened Libertie by their demands and needs. Every one seemed to want something from her. First, her mother, a free, black, homeopathic doctor who determined that Libertie would follow into her career. Her mother was deemed a saint, caring for the whole world, secreting slaves into freedom, and healing black and white alike. Libertie was overwhelmed by the diseases of the body, but it was the diseases of the mind that most troubled "Their need was monstrous." It wasn't only the barn cats that frightened Libertie by their demands and needs. Every one seemed to want something from her. First, her mother, a free, black, homeopathic doctor who determined that Libertie would follow into her career. Her mother was deemed a saint, caring for the whole world, secreting slaves into freedom, and healing black and white alike. Libertie was overwhelmed by the diseases of the body, but it was the diseases of the mind that most troubled her soul, including the unrequited love of a newly freed slave, and the broken people who gathered in a back room, free but never safe from the trauma of their past. Her mother's cures could not heal broken spirits. Libertie's light-skinned mother was allowed to touch the white women's bodies, but they flinched at Libertie's touch. She was Black Girl. How could her mother minister to the people who hated them for the war? How could her mother ignore history for the sake of money? During the Civil War, the women gathered to create a hospital, and Libertie felt the power of their communal energy. She learned from their example how to scheme to right a wrong world.The world felt full of possibilities and Libertie marveled over her choices. Libertie was sent to college where she first experienced the world outside of her mother. She hoped to forge her own path. She hated the medical coursework, and her classmates were 'colorstruck' against her. Music saved her; hearing two girls singing, she presents herself as their pupil. Singing, her soul soared. But she discovers the girls have a special relationship that can never include her. Returning home, Libertie meets the recent medical school graduate working under her mother, the light skinned, straight haired, Haitian, Emmanuel. He weaves stories of a beautiful country ruled by Negroes, a place where blacks can be truly free. Emmanuel enchants Libertie with his stories of the Haitian African gods still worshiped, although attacked by his Bishop father. He proclaims to believe in 'companionate marriage,' a modern understanding. She accepts his marriage proposal. She had failed as a daughter, as a medical student; perhaps she would find herself as a wife and mother. Haiti is beautiful, but is not the paradise she had imagined. Emmanuel's family resents her, and she discovers a double standard that her husband is complicit in maintaining. In her quest to discover who she is, to find real freedom, Libertie finds herself boxed in by expectations and limited choices, until she finds the courage to take control of her destiny. Every generation must find its own way, every woman pushes against the societal, familial, and political forces that bind her. Libertie's story is set in the past, but her story will be recognized by young women today. What does it mean to forge your own path, to be free to be yourself? How do we discover who we really are in a world of demands? I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Amber

    A book with stunning cover art and attention-grabbing opener, but was ultimately the most boring thing I've read so far this year. Libertie seemed like a lot of telling—I felt like I was just going through the motions of someone's life rather than experiencing anything alongside them. The writing, while at times beautiful, was frequently clumsy. Though considered a coming-of-age, I don't feel as though Libertie actually grew or developed in any sense; I'm not sure what the message is meant to be. A book with stunning cover art and attention-grabbing opener, but was ultimately the most boring thing I've read so far this year. Libertie seemed like a lot of telling—I felt like I was just going through the motions of someone's life rather than experiencing anything alongside them. The writing, while at times beautiful, was frequently clumsy. Though considered a coming-of-age, I don't feel as though Libertie actually grew or developed in any sense; I'm not sure what the message is meant to be. I rushed through this book, eager to move on to something else.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather Fineisen

    The story of Libertie as she grows up in reconstruction era in New York. Rich in historical references and memorable characters. Her mother, noted for being a black female physician, struggles with raising her daughter to follow in her footsteps. Well written and interesting. Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alacyia

    I give this book a 3.5. Libertie is loosely based real people. Dr. Sampson is based on free born Dr. Susan Stewart. The 3rd AA black female doctor in the US. She also had a daughter who married the son of a Haitian Episcopalian Bishop. Other than that, I'm not sure how true the rest of the story is. This is supposed to be a coming of age story for Libertie but I'm not sure it translated into that. We do go through Libertie's life from childhood to adulthood but I didn't see any growth or profound I give this book a 3.5. Libertie is loosely based real people. Dr. Sampson is based on free born Dr. Susan Stewart. The 3rd AA black female doctor in the US. She also had a daughter who married the son of a Haitian Episcopalian Bishop. Other than that, I'm not sure how true the rest of the story is. This is supposed to be a coming of age story for Libertie but I'm not sure it translated into that. We do go through Libertie's life from childhood to adulthood but I didn't see any growth or profound revelations. It just seems like this book just told parts of her life. The parts do link, they aren't completely random but I feel like the same unknowns and insecurities that Libertie had in the beginning of the book she still had at the end. Unless there plans on being a sequel, this ending left me with questions. That being said, it was still an entertaining read. I recommend it, if not for the entertainment, then at least for the historical components.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brittany J. (BNJreads)

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CNEYORfLB... Thank you @algonquinbooks for including me on this book tour!⁣ ⁣⁣ Libertie felt like a familiar coming of age story. Many, if not all, young girls have mothers who have their own expectations, hopes and dreams for their them. For some young girls there is a strong tussle between doing what we think is best for us and making our mothers proud. That’s what Libertie’s story was to me. ⁣ ⁣ I was pulled towards the complicated mother/daughter relationship and I lov https://www.instagram.com/p/CNEYORfLB... Thank you @algonquinbooks for including me on this book tour!⁣ ⁣⁣ Libertie felt like a familiar coming of age story. Many, if not all, young girls have mothers who have their own expectations, hopes and dreams for their them. For some young girls there is a strong tussle between doing what we think is best for us and making our mothers proud. That’s what Libertie’s story was to me. ⁣ ⁣ I was pulled towards the complicated mother/daughter relationship and I loved the use of the letters back and forth between Libertie and her mother, no matter how strained and contentious those conversations felt or lack thereof. ⁣ ⁣ I’m not sure what to think of Emmanuel as a supporting character/storyline, even though he (his family too, especially Ella) played a huge role in the shift between Libertie, her mother and Libertie’s “ah-ha” moment at the end. ⁣ ⁣ Colorism and many cultural norms were touched on throughout the book as examples of signs of the time but not as strong in themes as the dynamics between Libertie and her Mother. ⁣ ⁣ I’m still wondering what “breaking free” looks like to Libertie. Through all her searching and conversations in her head, I don’t think she ever worked that out. And, although I understand why Libertie makes the big decision at the end of the book, it still felt pre-mature and a bit rushed. I needed just a smidge more to her story to really wrap it up. ⁣ ⁣ Questions I’m left with: Is it possible for mothers to share their expectations and dreams for their children without shaping their entire lives? Is it fair for mothers to have to stifle those hopes and dreams in the first place??? ⁣

  18. 5 out of 5

    Torrie Tovar

    Wow, there is so much to unpack with this book I don't even know where to start. I think the main themes were colorism, religion, and being lost. But first I just want to point out that this  book idea is based on a real black female doctor in the late 1800s in New York.  Also, I think this is the first book that I have read about slavery times where the mental health of the people who were enslaved is discussed once they are freed. I think the first part of this book really focuses of colorism Wow, there is so much to unpack with this book I don't even know where to start. I think the main themes were colorism, religion, and being lost. But first I just want to point out that this  book idea is based on a real black female doctor in the late 1800s in New York.  Also, I think this is the first book that I have read about slavery times where the mental health of the people who were enslaved is discussed once they are freed. I think the first part of this book really focuses of colorism as Libertie's Mom is really light and can pass as white but Libertie is dark. And a lot of it has to do with problems Libertie faces with her Mom's white patients and the way her mother doesn't stand up for her with them. When Libertie gets to Haiti you really start seeing how religious superiority plays out in the way the Christians from the United States treat the Haitians and their religion. But mostly you follow Libertie on this journey of finding herself. Through the entire book she is lost and looking for her place. It was a really great book and I had a hard time putting it down.  I would recommend this to anyone. This book is out March 30th. Thanks to Netgalley and Algonquin Books for the eARC.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bill Silva

    There's much to like here in the language, the historical setting, and the main character's voice, but the story moves very slowly, and the Haiti section of the novel is particularly unsatisfying in its elliptical descriptions and rushed conclusion. I wavered between three and four stars, but I'm rounding my 3.5 up to 4 based on the value of the multiple perspectives included in the novel and the historical research that clearly provides the foundation for the author's creative effort. There's much to like here in the language, the historical setting, and the main character's voice, but the story moves very slowly, and the Haiti section of the novel is particularly unsatisfying in its elliptical descriptions and rushed conclusion. I wavered between three and four stars, but I'm rounding my 3.5 up to 4 based on the value of the multiple perspectives included in the novel and the historical research that clearly provides the foundation for the author's creative effort.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Kolber

    Gorgeous writing like a mix of magical realism and historical fiction. Libertie speaks and lives like a poet and I love that. She yearns for a home and a freedom she doesn’t yet know she already knows. How else to describe this beautiful magical story? The end made me cry, it’s so perfect. Lyrical myth making and a mother daughter bond so fraught; so flawed; so loving and whole. This book is truly wonderful.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Good but I’m not 100% sure I understood it all

  22. 5 out of 5

    Diane Payne

    Kaitlyn Greenidge's ambitious novel introduces readers to one of the first black woman doctors, who raises her free-born daughter alone, shortly after the Civil War has ended in Brooklyn. The mother passes as white, or close enough as white, to be more accepted, whereas her daughter is dark-skinned, something the mother admires, and yet fears for her daughter's future. The mother starts teaching her daughter the lessons of homeopathy at a young age, having her by her side as she works with patie Kaitlyn Greenidge's ambitious novel introduces readers to one of the first black woman doctors, who raises her free-born daughter alone, shortly after the Civil War has ended in Brooklyn. The mother passes as white, or close enough as white, to be more accepted, whereas her daughter is dark-skinned, something the mother admires, and yet fears for her daughter's future. The mother starts teaching her daughter the lessons of homeopathy at a young age, having her by her side as she works with patients, believing her daughter, Libertie, will follow in her footsteps and take over her practice one day. After Libertie is sent to an all-black boarding school, she meets two girls who are singers, and becomes more intrigued with signing than botany, and is informed she will not be able to return the next year. Unwilling to confront her mother with this news, a young doctor from Haiti, who has been interning with her mother, proposes to her fairly quickly, and against her mother's wishes, she marries him and sets off to Haiti, where she discovers a woman is not treated equally, and she begins to miss her independent mother, and realizes that she's not happy as a married woman, but hopes she will be a good mother after she learns she is pregnant. The novel is not a demanding novel, but it is an engaging read. I am not sure how well the journey to Haiti fit in with the novel, since so much of he novel was about the mother and daughter, and the mother does write letters to her daughter, but she doesn't answer, and it isn't until her two friends from the boarding school come to Haiti to perform, that Libertie decides to make some decisions about her life, instead of letting others make decisions for her. Throughout the novel, readers are reminded not only of what it means to be a woman, especially a black woman, but what freedom means to a woman.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leighellen Landskov

    I really wanted to like this one. I chose this book for my @BOTM club book club with #mommaleighellensbookclub! Usually, after we discuss the books together at the end of the month, it makes me like them even more. But with this one, our discussion just confirmed that this book missed the mark. "The only good poem I've ever written is you. A daughter is a poem. A daughter is a kind of psalm. You, in the world, responding to me, is the song I made. I cannot make another.” At its core, this book is I really wanted to like this one. I chose this book for my @BOTM club book club with #mommaleighellensbookclub! Usually, after we discuss the books together at the end of the month, it makes me like them even more. But with this one, our discussion just confirmed that this book missed the mark. "The only good poem I've ever written is you. A daughter is a poem. A daughter is a kind of psalm. You, in the world, responding to me, is the song I made. I cannot make another.” At its core, this book is about a tenuous relationship between a mother and a daughter. Libertie’s mom can pass as white, which makes her relationship with the world different than her dark skinned daughter. Liberties Mom wishes her to be a doctor like she is but Libertie makes other decisions. Both events pull them apart. I truly enjoyed the beginning of this book. There are a lot of themes introduced early on including passing, mental health issues, racism, and sexism. Libertie sees the world differently than her mom and their interactions in the first half really open up some great concepts for discussion. I loved how they each had their strengths but that thing also became their weekness. “It is our service to others that defines us. We are the doers of the world.” However, the second half of the book completely shifts gears. Libertie marries and moves to Haiti. Instead of any resolution from the first half, there is a whole new set of characters and challenges. It seems disjointed and abrupt. Halfway through the second half I was still trying to get my bearings and figure out what the book was about now. The second half is more about grown Libertie finding her footing as a wife and what that means, as well as being an outsider in a new way, as a person in a different country. Along the way, the book explores themes about race, mental illness, identity, and what it means to be free. Overall, the book felt like it was trying to do too much, which left me feeling too little for it. To read more reviews, head over TO MY BLOG. Or see what I'm currently reading over on my INSTAGRAM PAGE. And now you can even follow my book chats on my BOOKTUBE CHANNEL!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristin (Always With a Book)

    Thank you Algonquin Books for the gifted copy. This is the first book I've read by Kaitlyn Greenidge and I know it will definitely not be the last. As soon as I heard about this one, I knew it was something I wanted to read and I was not disappointed. This book totally captivated me, yet it is a slow-burn and one that while I wanted to rush to find out how it would end up, I also wanted to savior. It is a book inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors and her daughter, yet what Thank you Algonquin Books for the gifted copy. This is the first book I've read by Kaitlyn Greenidge and I know it will definitely not be the last. As soon as I heard about this one, I knew it was something I wanted to read and I was not disappointed. This book totally captivated me, yet it is a slow-burn and one that while I wanted to rush to find out how it would end up, I also wanted to savior. It is a book inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors and her daughter, yet what I found incredibly interesting was how much attention the author paid to the mental health of her characters, especially as this is set during the Reconstruction era. This is the third book that I have read where it talks about a black person being able to pass for a white, the second one just this week. It's not a concept I have ever given much thought to prior to reading these books, yet in this book, it is given much weight. Libertie's mom is very light-skinned, and so she is able to pass for white, which gives her certain freedoms that other blacks do not have. Libertie, on the other hand, is very dark-skinned. When Libertie is working with her mom at the hospital, many of the patients are very leery of having Libertie in the room. I also appreciated the journey Libertie goes on in trying to find herself. She leaves her mother's house because she doesn't think her mother sees her for who she is, yet she finds that her marriage is not much different. I loved the mother-daughter relationship and how it is portrayed here. It is so realistic. Mothers only want what is best for their children, yet sometimes they project too much onto them without letting their children spread their wings. Libertie pushed too far away yet ultimately ended up where she needed to be. This is such a beautifully written, thought-provoking read that has left me wanting to know more, which is what I love best about reading historical fiction. The author deftly draws you into the story, providing just the right amount of fact and fiction to tell her story and keep you entertained, while also shedding light on what happened during this time. This is a book I know I will be thinking about for quite some time and I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction. You can see all my reviews at: https://alwayswithabook.blogspot.com

  25. 5 out of 5

    LilyRose

    Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge is a gorgeous, lyrical work of historical fiction. It reads like an odyssey of a woman’s search to find herself and true freedom. The story begins in post-Civil-War New York, where Libertie witnesses her mother resurrect an enslaved man from the dead, a man who found his way to freedom inside of a coffin. Libertie and her mother Cathy Sampson are freeborn. Cathy is a doctor who establishes a clinic in an “all-coloured” town in Kings County. Cathy shares her ambition Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge is a gorgeous, lyrical work of historical fiction. It reads like an odyssey of a woman’s search to find herself and true freedom. The story begins in post-Civil-War New York, where Libertie witnesses her mother resurrect an enslaved man from the dead, a man who found his way to freedom inside of a coffin. Libertie and her mother Cathy Sampson are freeborn. Cathy is a doctor who establishes a clinic in an “all-coloured” town in Kings County. Cathy shares her ambitions with Libertie and believes one day a carriage will bear in gold writing the words ‘Dr Sampson and Daughter’. Greenidge beautifully captures the disparate relationship between mother and daughter, one of dreams for a future braided from the injustices and absences of the past. But Libertie desires autonomy, freedom and it is these choices which widen the divide between them and send Libertie overseas seeking identity and equality elsewhere in the folds of marriage and motherhood. The world captured in the book is textured with myth, spirits and riddles. The resurrected man, Ben Daisy is an elemental figure for the rest of Libertie’s life, a man for whom freedom could not release his caged heart. This is a powerful, essential story which confronts history with the sharpness of a gifted writers vision for the future encapsulated by Libertie who writes to her mother that she has “almost reached the garden.” Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mairy

    This book is set in 19th-century King's County (now known as Brooklyn, NY). Dr. Sampson is the first Back female Dr. She has a daughter, Liberty, They live together (father has passed) and Libertie is helping her mother as the practice. She sees from a very young age how differently she is being treated by other because of her dark skin (her mother can pass as white she is so light). The mother and daughter relationship was very complex, and I could tell that their issues were never going to be This book is set in 19th-century King's County (now known as Brooklyn, NY). Dr. Sampson is the first Back female Dr. She has a daughter, Liberty, They live together (father has passed) and Libertie is helping her mother as the practice. She sees from a very young age how differently she is being treated by other because of her dark skin (her mother can pass as white she is so light). The mother and daughter relationship was very complex, and I could tell that their issues were never going to be solved. Libertie's marriage did not help fix those issues, on the contrary. This book contains many topics to be discussed at a book club event. It was quite dumbfounding how childish and immature Libertie was. I couldn't understand any of the decisions she made throughout the book; she was socially awkward even though she was used to see adults come and go in her mother's cabinet and hear them interact from a young age. She has the chance to make decisions for herself, only to regret them later. I was a bit frustrated with the ending. I did not understand her motives and the reasoning behind what she did. I always root for books with strong female protagonists, this one let me down. Thank you Goodreads and Algonquin Books for this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    The book is about mothers and daughters. It’s told from the point of view of Libertie, the daughter. Her mother was born free and so light skinned she passed for white, although she never tried to, and went to college to become a doctor. Soon the civil war is here, then gone and Libertie is now a teenager and asks her mother too many questions for her mother’s comfort. The push and pull between parent and child is evident throughout the book, as well as freedom, liberty, and perhaps the pursuit o The book is about mothers and daughters. It’s told from the point of view of Libertie, the daughter. Her mother was born free and so light skinned she passed for white, although she never tried to, and went to college to become a doctor. Soon the civil war is here, then gone and Libertie is now a teenager and asks her mother too many questions for her mother’s comfort. The push and pull between parent and child is evident throughout the book, as well as freedom, liberty, and perhaps the pursuit of one’s own happiness. Libertie is being trained and educated to follow her mother’s path of being a doctor, but she doesn’t have the passion. Her real passion is to be close to her mother. There is so much more going on in this book. Certainly this could be one to garner more out of a second, or third reading. There are layers of meaning and imagery, and a focus on the gods of Africa and Christianity. Of the many themes within the book the one that was most direct and spoke to me was the mother-daughter relationship. The misunderstanding of each other, of the generational differences, and sadly, the feeling of not being what the other wants or needs. This would be a great book for a reading group or discussion. Thanks to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for an uncorrected electronic advance review copy of this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ahtiya (BookinItWithAhtiya)

    ✨3.5 stars✨ The crux of this novel is definitely the taut and complex mother-daughter relationship between Libertie and Dr. Sampson but also the idea of freedom. Throughout the novel, we and the characters are constantly pondering: What does it mean to be free? Free of expectations? Free to make choices? Free to exist? What actually is freedom, especially to those who have never seen it and to those who have never been in bondage? Alongside these questions of freedom, Libertie struggles with wha ✨3.5 stars✨ The crux of this novel is definitely the taut and complex mother-daughter relationship between Libertie and Dr. Sampson but also the idea of freedom. Throughout the novel, we and the characters are constantly pondering: What does it mean to be free? Free of expectations? Free to make choices? Free to exist? What actually is freedom, especially to those who have never seen it and to those who have never been in bondage? Alongside these questions of freedom, Libertie struggles with what it means to be a Black woman caught between a world that only sees one path as acceptable and a mother who only sees another path as true freedom. What happens when neither path seem enjoyable? I was expecting more of the novel to take place during Libertie’s adult years, primarily during her marriage. While I understand why we needed to meet Libertie at a young age in order to understand her outlook on life, I do think that the plot wandered in a few places. There were some moments in Libertie’s childhood that could’ve been tightened and shortened to help the pacing in the beginning of the novel. Overall, this was an enjoyable novel, and I would definitely read another work by Kaitlyn Greenidge.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Such a poignant, intriguing book about a young girl who helps her mother--who is a doctor--bring people "back to life." Libertie is young when she first begins to understand why people are showing up at her home in coffins, but they are not dead. Instead, her mother and her mother's friends are helping ex-slaves and other black people escape from the wrath of white people in the North. When her mother decides to build and open a hospital specifically for black women, Libertie believes she is des Such a poignant, intriguing book about a young girl who helps her mother--who is a doctor--bring people "back to life." Libertie is young when she first begins to understand why people are showing up at her home in coffins, but they are not dead. Instead, her mother and her mother's friends are helping ex-slaves and other black people escape from the wrath of white people in the North. When her mother decides to build and open a hospital specifically for black women, Libertie believes she is destined to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a doctor herself. But when her mother begins taking in white women as patients, Libertie sees that nothing has changed in the dynamic between black and white people. And then, she falls in love. I truly enjoyed this book. The relationship between Libertie and her mother is one that I think most women could identify with--her mother wants her to be like her, Libertie wants to set her own path. This was truly a beautiful book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joshunda Sanders

    Libertie is the daughter of a pioneering Black woman doctor in Kings County aka Brooklyn in the 1800s who wants to shape her own life instead of following in her mother's footsteps (for a variety of reasons) and becoming a doctor. There is so much to love here - luscious language and description, a kind of love story that is enchanting, the depth of characterization that Greenidge provides when showcasing the tensions that can spring up and fester among mothers and daughters, especially. I parti Libertie is the daughter of a pioneering Black woman doctor in Kings County aka Brooklyn in the 1800s who wants to shape her own life instead of following in her mother's footsteps (for a variety of reasons) and becoming a doctor. There is so much to love here - luscious language and description, a kind of love story that is enchanting, the depth of characterization that Greenidge provides when showcasing the tensions that can spring up and fester among mothers and daughters, especially. I particularly like some of the descriptions of Haiti, and then, there is a point where these descriptions veer a bit into a zone that is not really stereotype so much as it feels like it adds another layer to Libertie's complex position and decisions in the world kind of late in the book (like, at the end) that is hard to connect to the larger narrative arc. It is still worth reading for its scope, its ambition and its contribution to recovering dynamic, lost histories of us.

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