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Libertie Reviews

Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge

Libertie

Kaitlyn Greenidge

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Profile Books Ltd
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication date: 29 Apr 2021
ISBN: 9781788169004

Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Brooklyn after the Civil War, 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?

  • The TimesHistorical Fiction Book of the Month
5 stars out of 5
Antonia Senior
7 Apr 2021

"Kaitlyn Greenidge is good on the contradictions of freedom, and the persistent, sour legacy of slavery, but it is the mother-daughter relationship that makes this novel dazzle"

Libertie, as the name suggests, is a coming-of-age novel about freedom, set during the years of the American Civil War and its unsettled aftermath. Libertie Sampson, a free-born black girl, chafes against her mother’s stifling expectations. Mama, a doctor who helps to smuggle slaves from the south, dreams of her daughter working alongside her as a physician.... Kaitlyn Greenidge is good on the contradictions of freedom, and the persistent, sour legacy of slavery, but it is the mother-daughter relationship that makes this novel dazzle. Mama, a woman of science not poetry, tells Libertie, “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.”

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Nick Rennison
25 Apr 2021

" a satisfying and emotionally powerful brew"

 From her attention-grabbing opening line (“I saw my mother raise a man from the dead”), Greenidge mixes elements of both conventional historical fiction and magical realism into a satisfying and emotionally powerful brew.