The Book of Night Women
Review of The Book of Night Women
The Book of Night Women tells the story of Lilith, a slave who was born on the Montpellier sugar plantation in Jamaica. Lilith was born in 1785 to a 13 year old black slave mother and the white overseer, Jack Wilkins as her father. Lilith's mother died during childbirth, leaving Lilith effectively alone on the wicked Montpelier Estate.
The Night Women are a group of mulatto women who were fathered by Jack Wilkins who meet under the cover of darkness to practice Myal (a form of Jamaican spiritual magic) and plot a grand rebellion. As Lilith grows to become a teenager she begins to exhibit great strength and rebellious spirit, after killing a would-be rapist she is enlisted in to the Night Women. However, the naturally rebellious Lilith found that she did not entirely fit in with a group of Night Women, just as she didn't fit in with the wider plantation society.
As the story develops the Night Women plot an island-wide revolution. As the plan takes shape, Lilith begins a clandestine love affair with Robert Quinn, a white overseer from Ireland who struggles to accept his role as slave master in the Montpellier estate.
By nature of the subject matter of slavery, the Book of Night Women is a dark tale, made even more so by the inclusion of Myal magic and Marlon James's wonderfully descriptive story telling. Although the story of slave rebellion has been told many times before, the Book of Night Women does not feel clichéd and shows the good and evil sides of all characters who are placed in a hellish environment with their own role to play.© 2013 Jamaica Travel and Culture .com