More Than A Slave

by Anaelle Gadeyne

I read romance novels every single day of the week but what I don’t read is period works, I don’t know why in particular, it is just a genre that I have had an issue connecting with in the past. So reading More than a Slave wasn’t something I took lightly, it was something that I made a concerted decision to undertake, I didn’t stumble upon this no, I picked it up three times to read and after only a few short chapters each time, I laid the book back down knowing that this was a work that I would need to give my undivided attention if I didn’t want to fall into the trap of missing the essence of the story and I think I was right because the point of the book is far more than the title and even the blurb suggests (on a side note though I thought the title attracted a negativity that the story didn’t warrant and that was a shame in my opinion).

So what did I think…well I would urge you to look past the title and in some respects to disregard the enforced connection between the main characters and look at this on the personal level because as unsavoury as the situation of slavery is to us in the 21st century, the existence of this form of relationship in the past is not something that can or should be ignored.

I admit now that, that aspect of the story is something that took me a while to reconcile with my own conscience, but reflecting on the events that the author portrayed, I can now say that no matter the situation, this was a story of a love that refused to pay heed to the circumstances that those involved found themselves in, I suppose in modern terms it was much like a Stockholm syndrome situation and I have lost count of how many of those I have read over the years.  

Please read this with an open mind and if you do I think you will see that the story is about the tenacity of love, the resilience of those to fight for what they hearts refuse to allow to slip away and the author was able to load the book with an intensity that some might miss if they are not looking hard enough, please don’t allow yourself to miss the true meaning of the story because from what I read, this was a historical romance that played its hand well with everything that was pertinent at that period in time.

To my surprise this was emotionally a bit of a rollercoaster, I had it in my head (again I feel that the title contributed to this) that this was going to be a darker read than it actually was, don’t get me wrong there are some aspects of the story that didn’t sit well with meat all, the author didn’t sugar coat anything, there was violence and cruelty that by means of some very illuminating descriptions chilled me to the bone but at its core the story was very much a romance and a pretty solid one at that.

The connection between Aria and Alexander stemmed from a situation that was far too brutal for me to even comprehend but the author gave what was bubbling between the two of them the opportunity to find its feet and develop in a way that not only was befitting of the time but also of their situation.

The personalities that they both exuded were fascinating, I especially liked the fact that Aria, despite her situation, stood tall and had an honesty about her that spoke volumes about who she was on in inside, her wit and razor sharp tongue brought a smile to my face.
Alexander took a little more getting used to, I wasn’t entirely enamoured by him initially, I doubt anyone would have been but when I got a chance to see what was beneath his angry exterior I found him and his reasoning more agreeable. I would say stick with him, he comes good in the end!

There were of course more than just the two main characters and the author ensured that those who were secondary in the plot were afforded the same attention as both Aria and Alexander, some of the levity of the situation was greatly enhanced by the interaction between them all.

I commend the author for a body of work that was willing to bruise along the way, it, like history, showed the reality of evolution, the fact that life changes from day to day, from year to year, from century to century and that through those changes we get to review and repeal not only how we think but how we feel and how we act.

For a first novel by this author, I would be intrigued to find out what else she has up her sleeve.

Topic: More Than A Slave by Anaelle Gadeyne

Date: 12/12/2018

By: alice

Subject: read one of the several diaries of slaves and compare

okay but here's the thing: the novel and those like it romanticize slavery. i've seen several like it. the author could have made the girl a servant, which would have been less offensive and made more sense because slaves don't get paid so i doubt becoming a slave would help her family with financial trouble more than being a servant. this isn't how slavery worked, it's heavily romanticizing it because a poor slave girl "in a relationship" with a sadistic murderous slave holder is "soooo romantic".
this totally ignores a lot of what slavery was and is a terrible book. there were several relationships like the one depicted in the book but the difference was we recognize that they were absolutely not okay and we can't even say all or most of them were consensual. none were romantic. i would dismiss this book if it wasn't mischaracterization of slavery, and i'm not referring to black slavery only.

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