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Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan

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“Chasing the North Star is an epic journey, and Morgan’s vision of our dark past shines brilliantly detailed, deeply satisfying, and ultimately hopeful.” —Charles Frazier, author of Nightwoods and Cold Mountain

“…a gorgeous book full of lush prose, compelling characters, and an epic journey across America ten years before the Civil War.” —Chicago Review of Books

“Not only is the subject matter riveting, Morgan’s language enhances the tension and defines his characters. The novel shines its light on the simple humanity of two teenagers adrift in a time of such hate and fear that it soon erupted into a bloody civil war. Today, with racial and ethnic tensions again running high, this stark, terrifying story of perilous love and the search for peace is especially illuminating.” —Knoxville News Sentinel

“A powerful, gripping, and unrelenting tale of wilderness survival under the most dire of circumstances in the pursuit of freedom: another outstanding work of historical fiction from Morgan.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Morgan’s latest is a grittily entertaining, smartly paced narrative about a fugitive slave. Morgan is a first-rate storyteller; he plots his novel extremely well, and readers will find this journey captivating.” —Publishers Weekly

“Morgan…presents the reader with a convincing and richly imagined experience.” —Booklist, starred review

My Review

A symbolic splendid tale of adventure, enduring fortitude, and love.
A tale of freedom from shackles of slavery.
Two souls, we are immersed into their lives, the man Jonah and the woman Angel.
Angel’s first person narrative is vivid with a keen sense of a life for one of love and freedom. Angel a woman at times naive of, and caught in, the injustices and abuses towards her beauty and great love.
She is one great and memorable character to step foot into a sentence of a story.
The narrative of the Jonah is told in the third person, a man who was able to read, among many in his situation who could not, punished for this ability due to his honesty in keeping a promise. With accusations against him a journey to freedom had been initiated. His road to freedom had been fuelled for a time by many elements, but ultimately will love conquer all with the windstorm of obstacles in their paths.
Simplicity of prose layered out in linear fashion.
Vividly brutal at times with some scenes involving torture and one that serves as suitable reading for adults only.
The dark road these characters had to face in the pursuit of happiness is something mankind must never forget and stills remains upon the earth.
The road of Jonah and Angel will be hard to be forgotten due to the success of this author in forging their plight in the evil that men do in smithy of readers heart and mind.
I cannot fault the tale he told with the right sentencing and momentum and one that you just hate to close the book on.
Faulkner like in characters, without the complexity of prose, Flannery O’Connor like in theme, Jack London like in simplicity of storytelling and Robert Morgan like in memorability.




Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 11 April 2016