Samuel’s an educated boy. Been taught by a priest. He was never supposed to be a slave.
He’s a good boy too, thoughtful and kind. The type of boy who’d take the blame for something he didn’t do if it meant he saved his brother. So now they don’t call him Samuel. Not anymore. And the sound of guns is getting ever closer…
An extraordinary tale of endurance and hope, Jon Walter’s second novel is a beautiful and moving story about the power of belief and the strength of the human spirit, set against the terrifying backdrop of the American Civil War.
How did I get the book? StorytellersInc Book Club
Genre: Historical Fiction
Review: Samuel is a very engaging narrator, so getting lost in his story was easy. What wasn’t easy is the story itself. Emotionally I felt drained, horrified and experienced a rollercoaster of emotions the deeper I got into the book. This is good. Very good, because Samuel’s story should have you feel.
Admittedly this period in history isn’t something I’m overly familiar with. I knew the basics but that’s about it. I felt that reading My Name’s Not Friday taught me more about American Civil War, the human cost and why people would do the things they did. What Jon Walter’s book does is make everything alive. It’s not just Samuel but the other characters as well, you’re drawn into their lives and experience the unfairness (that word doesn’t even begin to cover it).
I wanted to rescue Samuel. I wanted to scream and shout at the despicable people he encounters. I wanted to shake some sense into those that just wouldn’t listen. Most of all I wanted this to be fiction not historical fiction, because it made me feel so much. Samuel might not have been real but that period in history exists and it’s harrowing.