The main character, BLACK, is the fictional son of Nat Turner. Nat Turner (October, 1800 – November, 1831) was an enslaved African American who led a rebellion of slaves and free blacks in Southampton County, Virginia. Nat Turner is widely regarded as one of the most complex figures in American history and American literature.
In August 1831, Nat Turner leads a group of escaped slaves in a rebellion that rocks the South. The revolt comes to a quick and violent end. In November, Nat is publicly hanged, and as his body swings, a false sense of peace washes over Jerusalem, Virginia. Unbeknownst to the world, on the day Nat Turner dies, his son, Nat Hope Turner, is born. Reared by Big Mama on the Turner plantation, young Nat’s identity is kept secret to keep him safe. As Nat grows to manhood, he leads his own uprising against slavery and is forever after known as Black.
Fate-by way of Big Mama-leads Black to rescue a young female slave, Sunday, before the plantation owner can sell her. Black has lived for liberty until the day he comes face to face with the alluring Sunday. As the two embark on a sexually charged ride toward love and freedom, they set off a chain of events that forces Black to risk his own liberty for hers. Black shares the appealing tale of a passionate love between a man and a woman bound together to change their destiny.
Clarion Review from Foreword Magazine
5/5 Stars for Black by Joan Vassar
Vivid, poignant, and absorbing, this outstanding novel reaches back in time to portray Nat Turner’s son’s quest for freedom and equality.
Set in nineteenth-century America prior to the Civil War, this well-researched novel depicts the horror of slavery and the violence of revolt in a heady mix of bloody realism and heroic romance. Joan Vassar portrays Nat Turner’s literate son in his passionate quest for freedom and equality in Black, a moving, revelatory, and disturbing narrative. This is the first book of a promising series.
A skillful blend of fact and fiction, Vassar’s plot is a journey that takes place during a volatile period in US history. Her believable protagonists emerge from carefully crafted pages with a human quality that transcends ordinary characterization. Without whitewashing or condemning, Vassar depicts Black as he leads a slave uprising, while he and his lover, Sunday, face incredible obstacles to be together as the country teeters on the edge of war. He rescues her from a life in captivity and then teaches her to read, eventually marrying the young woman he has befriended and nurtured.
Laced with heavy dialect—perhaps too much in places—and straightforward description, this somber book allows a candid look at behind-the-scenes maneuvering and clandestine negotiation in a world where no one knows for certain who can be trusted. Danger lurks on every path along the Underground Railroad, from bounty hunters in the North to #plantation overseers in the #South, creating a treacherous route to freedom and relative safety.
Potent use of language #empowers the story, giving a film like quality to action scenes. #Sexual interludes are explicit, often beautiful, sometimes rough. The focus remains on Black and Sunday, even as cataclysmic events threaten to tear them apart; they live in the now of the mid-1800s. External conflict heightens their passion, awareness of mortality always in the forefront rather than suppressed in the depths of subconsciousness.
Ideal for adult classrooms and book groups, Black educates with an honest yet aching style. Vassar’s outstanding novel reaches back in time, vivid, poignant, and absorbing. No one will walk away from this literary endeavor without unearthing a piece of history to serve as a reminder of what previous generations endured for the sake of universal #emancipation and abiding love. –Written by Julia Ann Charpentier
The Black Series (3 Book Series) by Joan Vassar
#Romance. #Suspense. #Adventure. #Historical.