41. Slave: My True Story by Mende Nazar and Damien Lewis COUNTRY: SUDAN / ENGLAND
It’s all over the news; this takes you right in the middle…
Most of us associate slavery with the days of the American Civil War. Yet, in many parts of the world today, slavery isn’t dead. In this novel, we meet Mende, a young Sudanese tribal girl growing up happily with her family. The first third of the book explores Mende’s childhood among her tribe, the Karko of the Nuba Mountains. Then one night, everything changes. Her village is attacked by Arab raiders. Huts are torched, men killed, women raped and children rounded up to be sold off later as slaves. Mende is among them. We see how Mende struggles to survive as a slave girl and horrors she was forced to go through. Eventually, Mende travels to London as a slave, where it is that she is finally able to make a break for freedom. While Mende’s first hand account is great, describing a young woman’s life as she matures from a child to an adult under horrible circumstances, something I disliked about this book was that towards the end, Damien Lewis seemed to take over the writing and this made it seem less personal. Also, because of Mende’s age at certain points of the novel, I feel like some spots were not as detailed as later chapters. These two minor gripes shouldn’t deter you from reading an unbelievable story of a resilient young woman. 3/5
TO DATE: 10121/15000 or 67% done!