The Long Song by Andrea Levy
Andrea Levy's latest book, The Long Song won the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2011 and was shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2010.
Set in Jamaica on a sugarcane plantation in the early 1800s, when slavery was rife, this story is narrated by July. She was born to slave Kitty after a harrowing rape by the plantation's overseer. She tells her story as an elderly woman, encouraged by her publisher son, Thomas.
July's life has been set in stone. She is to be a farm slave, as her Mother and Grandmother have been, until one fateful day, Caroline Mortimer, snatches her away to become a house slave, a lady's maid. She is now renamed "Marguerite" and her life is forever changed. The story follows a course of love, betrayal, loyality and isolation. On the 31st of July 1938, slavery is abolished and July's future suddenly changes course.
I don't want to give away too much, but it really is a wonderful read and without sounding too morbid, I really do find stories about slavery fascinating.
Hope you get to read this one...it's a keeper!