While in the hospital this past week I had a few hours to crack a book. Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. I have wanted to read this book for a while, but never caught up with it. This is one of those books that leaves you wondering how you NEVER knew that you NEVER KNEW about something. In this case slavery. Something I thought I knew about, but realize...I didn't. This book follows 4 slave women who meet each year under strange circumstances. Their masters bring them to a vacation resort in the North to spend the Summer together. YEP---TOGETHER. Each of these women are slaves AND mistresses to their masters. If you want a happy go lucky book...THIS IS NOT IT. It is sad and filled with times when you think...rEaLLy???? Points when you wonder how things could have ACTUALLY happened like this in the United States. I would recommend this book if you like to read to learn and be moved and touched in a way that you can never go back. I do NOT recommend this book if you have a weak stomach or do not want to read about rape, abuse, humiliation, abortion, and death. There are no steamy sex scenes, but there are lots of horendous acts of abuse that are hard to read through. This book brings up questions and issues that stay with you after you have finished reading.
For example, how can you have an affair with a women, father 2 children with her, and then chain her to the ship that is taking you both to your Summer vacation resort home???
How can you sell off your own children to another plantation and never see them again????
How can you treat someone as a lover AND a piece of property. A friend AND and an amimal???
Slavery is one of those NON-talked about subjects in many History classes. It is a big black mark on the history of the United States. We like to sit back and judge the horrors of Germany during WWII and forget about the equally horrific treatment of the slaves right here in our own backyard. I am glad I read this book. I am glad I have been reminded about the terrible treatment of these slaves so that I can remember to be kinder to others. I am glad that I have opened my eyes a bit so that I will NEVER forget to open my heart.