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My Jim by Nancy Rawles
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My Jim

by Nancy Rawles

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143783,804 (3.98)2
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    Finn by Jon Clinch (sungene)
    sungene: about the wife left behind by Jim, Huck Finn's companion.
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Narrated by Lizzie Cooper Davis and Brenda Pressley. It's 1884 and Sadie relates to her granddaughter the story of Jim, the love of her life, and how she was present at his birth as a little girl and later, as his wife, missed the opportunity to escape with him. A haunting story about slavery, the loss of loved ones and the ache and loss of true love. The audio presentation is particularly effective; I don't recall which woman reads Sadie but she voices her story with the regret and resignation of a woman who's seen and been hurt too much. It's like listening to a dramatic monologue or a one-woman show. Wow. Don't miss this. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
My Jim is inspired by the character Jim in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Although it is inspired by Jim, the novel tells the story of Sadie, Jim's wife. The story is told in the first person using colloquial dialog. Sadie's granddaughter is about to set off on her grown up life away from her grandmother and Sadie has finally decided to tell her story. Sadie and her granddaughter make a memory quilt while Sadie tells the young woman about the people she loved and incorporates objects that remind her of them into the quilt. Sadie's story begins as a slave on a tobacco plantation in Missouri and continues beyond emancipation to her life as a freed slave. The novel gives the reader an appreciation of what it was like to be a slave. It makes the reader feel Sadie's emotional desolation as she experiences atrocities that were common place at the time. While Rawles definitely doesn't sugarcoat anything, the novel is not as graphic or raw as other books based on slave narratives. Sadie is a compelling character, but most of the secondary characters are not portrayed as detailed as Sadie. I believe that the reader is held back from knowing these characters because Sadie holds herself back from loving them too much in order to avoid heartbreak when they are taken from her. Since Sadie is telling the story to her granddaughter, who never experienced slavery, the story is especially suited to young adults. It is a story of one generation explaining to another the strength of their ancestors. A strength that they share to help hold them up in current times. To quote the novel, "All them watching over you. Folks you aint even know wishing you well praying right now for your soul. If you let the spirits near you they guide you along. All them Africans. They spirits never settle till the last of they children come home...You take that quilt wherever you go. When you old and wore you think on me and all the others love you. You close your eyes and feel our love coming up behind you. Thats all you got in this world." ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
The book was well writen, and I would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in learning about the history of slavery. I think this is a book that could be used in a U.S. History class. ( )
  scottpalmo | Oct 3, 2008 |
Inspired by the controversial character of Jim in Twain's Huck Finn, Nancy Rawles tells the back story about Jim's family and his wife, Sadie, a healer and a mother--and a slave. Sadie describes her enduring love with Jim to her granddaughter, who isn't sure she wants to be married at 16. She tells of a life filled with the brutality and pain, the horror of being a slave and birthing children who are commodities to the master. Written in colloquial dialect, the story feels authentic and heavily researched, and is tied together with iconic elements of hat, pipe, tooth, knife, etc., like the quilt Sadie makes with her granddaughter as she tells this terrible history. (This method recalls Alice Mattison's IN CASE WE"RE SEPARATED, which is loosely constructed around iconic objects based on the poetic form of a double sestina: including a knife, map, a hat? I can't remember the others.) It's a gritty slave narrative, not easy to take, and sometimes is too persistently brutal to continue reading. It remains Sadie's story, though, and we do learn much more about Jim and his background than Twain allowed, yet he remains as elusive a character as before, lacking the same kind of solidity we come to know Sadie in heart, spirit and flesh.
  sungene | Aug 20, 2008 |
Wonderful telling of a possible "back-story" for the character of Jim in Huckleberry Finn. Touching portrayal of his relationship with his wife. The venacular made the reading slow and deliberate which added to the experience of the story. Wonderful! ( )
  SignoraEdie | May 28, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140005401X, Paperback)

To help her granddaughter accept the risks of loving, Sadie Watson mines her memory for the tale of the unquenchable love of her life, Jim. Sadie’s Jim was an ambitious young slave and seer who, when faced with the prospect of being sold, escaped down the Mississippi with a white boy named Huck Finn. Sadie is suddenly left alone, worried about her children, reviled as a witch, punished for Jim’s escape, and convinced her husband is dead. But Sadie’s will and her love for Jim animate her life and see her through.

Told with spare eloquence and mirroring the true stories of countless slave women, My Jim recreates one of the most controversial characters in American literature. A nuanced critique of the great American novel, My Jim is a haunting and inspiring story about freedom, longing, and the remarkable endurance of love.



Look for the Reader’s Group Guide at the back of this book.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:04 -0400)

In a poignant meditation on love and loss, Sadie, the abandoned wife of the slave Jim from Mark Twain's the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn details her romance with Jim, an ambitious young slave. His decision to run away with a young white boy named Huck Finn, and the bleak repercussions of that decision for her and their children. A deeply moving recasting of one of the most controversial characters in American literature, Huckleberry Finn's Jim, written in the great literary tradition of novels of American slavery. My Jim is told in the incantatory voice of Sadie Watson, an ex-slave who schools her granddaughter with lessons of love she learned in bondage. To help her granddaughter confront the decisions she needs to make, Sadie mines her memory for the tale of the unquenchable love of her life, Jim. Sadie's Jim was an ambitious young slave and seer who, when faced with the prospect of being sold, escaped down the Mississippi with a white boy named Huck. Sadie is suddenly left alone. Worried about her children, convinced her husband is dead, reviled as a witch, and punished for Jim's escape, Sadie's will and her love for Jim, even in absentia, animate her life and see her through. Told with spare eloquence and mirroring the true stories of countless slave women, My Jim recreates one of the most controversial characters in American literature. A nuanced critique of the great American novel, My Jim stands on its own as a haunting and inspiring story about freedom, longing, and the remarkable endurance of love.… (more)

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