Sunday, April 25, 2010

Property by Valerie Martin


I avoided this book because of the disturbing subject matter: slavery in Louisiana in the early 19th century. But I decided to read it after I read The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, earlier this year. I knew that reading Property would erase any of the sweet taste that was left after reading The Help. If The Help was too light, or oversimplified, I knew that Property would not be. It would remind me of the horrors, in case I needed that.

Property is dark, violent and unflinching in its look at what slavery does to slaves and to slave owners. It is told from the point of view of Manon, a white woman who is almost as much the property of her autocratic husband as the slaves are. We also meet Manon’s maid Sarah, a young slave who is forced into a sexual relationship with Manon’s husband, and who has borne two children by him.

Manon is angry and self-absorbed. Sarah is trapped. As contemporary readers we might think that Manon and Sarah would ally themselves against a common enemy, Manon’s husband, but that is impossible. The great divide between slave and owner is too difficult to cross and neither woman can help the other.

Manon’s voice is distinctly contemporary without seeming anachronistic. You can’t like her but you can root for her. Sarah is more enigmatic. You can imagine what she wants but you can never really know her. Martin wisely chooses not to take us inside Sarah's head; she understands that there is no way as a 21st century woman that she can accurately reflect what it's like to be Sarah. This is what makes Property so much better than The Help, this lack of presumption on the author's part.

(Book 18, 2010)

16 comments:

LINDA from Each Little World said...

Excellent review. I read this quite a while ago and thought it was quite disturbing, but fascinating as well.

Sarah Laurence said...

Excellent review of a fabulous book! I also loved the slave owner perspective even if I couldn’t like Manon. I adore the understated elegance of Martin’s writing. You are reminding me that I haven’t posted my review of this book and several others. I’m hopelessly behind.

Becky Holmes said...

Sarah, I want to read more of Martin's books. I have always meant to.

And I too am hopelessly behind. Just look at the six books in my "Currently Reading" list; I've really finished them all and need to write about them soon!

Sarah Laurence said...

My favorite of book by Martin was her short story collection, The Unfinished Novel. I enjoyed (and reviewed) The Confessions of Edward Day, a lighter read. I started but didn't finish Trespass because I couldn't relate to the mother who dislikes the ethnic girlfriend of her 20 something son. I would like to read more of her work too.

Marie-Therese said...

I loved Property - it's a novel about well, property, and it's also a novel about people's beliefs can deform them and can deform a whole society. You think about this for a long time after you've read it.

Anonymous said...

This review has encourage me to read property.

Anonymous said...

Very good book I say. Powerful, mind-boggling.
Am i weird for liking Manon? I felt sorry for her and I understood her pain. I wish Sarah escaped, and no-one ever found her.. hold tight Sarah.

Anonymous said...

LOL I've had to study this book for English A-levels.. a very interesting book to do an exam on, different.

Anna said...

I can advise you this service - DigitalEssay.net Bought essay here. No problem.

Sevastiyan said...

HelpWriting.net is a good website if you’re looking to get your essay written for you. You can also request things like research papers or dissertations. It’s really convenient and helpful. If you’ve got something very last-minute then it can be a little risky but either way it’s probably better than anything you can throw together :).

Unknown said...

coin haber - bitcoin haberleri - instagram video indir - instagram takipçi satın al - instagram takipçi satın al - tiktok takipçi satın al - instagram takipçi satın al - instagram takipçi satın al - instagram takipçi satın al - instagram takipçi satın al - instagram takipçi satın al - binance güvenilir mi - binance güvenilir mi - binance güvenilir mi - binance güvenilir mi - instagram beğeni satın al - instagram beğeni satın al - google haritalara yer ekleme - btcturk güvenilir mi - binance hesap açma - kuşadası kiralık villa - tiktok izlenme satın al - instagram takipçi satın al - sms onay - paribu sahibi kim - binance sahibi kim - btcturk sahibi kim - paribu ne zaman kuruldu - binance ne zaman kuruldu - btcturk ne zaman kuruldu - youtube izlenme satın al - torrent oyun - google haritalara yer ekleme - altyapısız internet - bedava internet - no deposit bonus forex - erkek spor ayakkabı - tiktok jeton hilesi - tiktok beğeni satın al - microsoft word indir - misli indir

Unknown said...

instagram takipçi satın al
instagram takipçi satın al
takipçi satın al
instagram takipçi satın al
takipçi satın al
aşk kitapları
tiktok takipçi satın al
instagram beğeni satın al
youtube abone satın al
twitter takipçi satın al
tiktok beğeni satın al
tiktok izlenme satın al
twitter takipçi satın al
tiktok takipçi satın al
youtube abone satın al
tiktok beğeni satın al
instagram beğeni satın al
trend topic satın al
trend topic satın al
youtube abone satın al
beğeni satın al
tiktok izlenme satın al
sms onay
youtube izlenme satın al
tiktok beğeni satın al
sms onay
sms onay
perde modelleri
instagram takipçi satın al
takipçi satın al
tiktok jeton hilesi
pubg uc satın al
sultanbet
marsbahis
betboo
betboo
betboo

Unknown said...

instagram takipçi satın al
ucuz takipçi
takipçi satın al
https://takipcikenti.com
https://ucsatinal.org
instagram takipçi satın al
https://perdemodelleri.org
https://yazanadam.com
instagram takipçi satın al
balon perdeler
petek üstü perde
mutfak tül modelleri
kısa perde modelleri
fon perde modelleri
tül perde modelleri
https://atakanmedya.com
https://fatihmedya.com
https://smmpaketleri.com
https://takipcialdim.com
https://yazanadam.com
yasaklı sitelere giriş
aşk kitapları
yabancı şarkılar
sigorta sorgula
https://cozumlec.com
word indir ücretsiz
tiktok jeton hilesi
rastgele görüntülü sohbet
erkek spor ayakkabı
fitness moves
gym workouts
https://marsbahiscasino.org
http://4mcafee.com
http://paydayloansonlineare.com

kodok said...

Slot Online
Serbu4d
Login Serbu4d
Daftar win88
pokerace99
Bola88

Unknown said...

marsbahis
betboo
sultanbet
marsbahis
betboo
sultanbet

دجله بالمز said...

شركة درة البيت
شركة تعقيم في دبي
شركة تعقيم في الشارقة
شركة تعقيم في راس الخيمة

Post a Comment