by Esi Edugyan, Victoria, BC
This stunning book kept me guessing at every turn. It begins on a sugar plantation in Barbados, when an 11-year old slave, Wash, is plucked from his unrelenting work by his master’s brother to be his own assistant. Titch is a scientist, and Wash’s life is about to dramatically change. Picking apart themes of prejudice, cruelty, freedom, abandonment, family, home, love, and forgiveness, Esi Edugyan’s gorgeous story is full of complex, layered characters, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and what it means to be a human being. Wash’s determination to have the questions of his life answered is a profound roadmap to living a meaningful life. So precisely and meticulously written, with a heart-wrenching, terrifying, and redemptive story, Washington Black is a story you will never forget. Absolutely brilliant.
Washington Black is one of 12 finalists chosen for the 2019 Pacific Northwest Book Award. The six winners will be announced in January. nwbooklovers.org is posting blurbs from the committee for each of the shortlisted titles.
Before this novel was chosen as a New York Times Top 10 Book of the Year, it was shortlisted for the 2019 Pacific Northwest Book Award and chosen as an October 2018 Indie Next title. Find it and other amazing books at an independent bookstore near you.