Cover Image: Remembrance

Remembrance

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Member Reviews

Gripping historical novel.
This one will keep you attention as your read through it.
The book takes you through the lives of several women spanning past and present it flips back and forth between the times.
This one will mesmerize you and stay with you for awhile after you read it.

Published January 21st 2020 by Forge
I was given a complimentary copy . Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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There is so much I could say about this book. It's beautiful, gut-wrenching, inspiring, terrifying, utterly magnificent. Rita Woods builds an amazing world following Abigail, Winter, Margot, and Gaelle through time, all connected by their powers and their experiences. It's amazing. The attention to detail, the realism in the slaves' escape and resilience, the use of French and Creole, everything. I cannot explain how this book touched me without giving away some major plot points, but it is amazing.
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Not 100% sure what I was expecting with this book, but I will say I was pleasantly surprised. This book mainly follows 4 women, each from a different historical time period, that have fantastical powers. Their powers seem to stem from anger; from being taken from their families and having things stolen by them from slavers.

If I were to be honest plot wise, I think this book was a 3 star. However, I was deeply in love with the writing style. Rita Woods writes beautifully and I just loved the poetic vibe I felt from it. I enjoyed this gem of a book of a book and recommend it to my fellow readers (: 


*thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me witha free Arc in exchange for an honest review*
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Although not really time-travel, the author is able to connect the lives of 4 different women over time. Sometimes I had trouble with the jumps in time, but woods was able to make the story believable even though there are supernatural beings.
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I enjoyed the beginning more than the end. To be fair I had just finished Underground Railroad when I picked Remembrance up, so maybe by the midway point I was burnt out. I enjoyed how the chapters were broken up by character. Made it an easy read!  I will
come back for a re read later. I thought the characters were likeable and believeable, I think the timing just wasn’t right for me!
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Both historically accurate as to the slave years of the United States of America and on into modern times, this is a perceptive look at the state of the African-American people. From the strength of Margot, a house slave, to the struggle of Gaelle in the present day, this is a book well worth reading.
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Remembrance a hidden safe place for those escaping slavery. An unusual debut read by Rita Woods from a preferred genre of mine, the Underground Railroad combining the mystical and spiritual perspective. Following a group of women over a period of a few hundred years, a web begins to form linking these women their struggles and a place of safety develops.


Thanks to Netgalley the author and MacMillan publishing for an ARC of this book
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I am Haitian - American, and it's not too often I find books that talk about Haiti and Its history, So when I read the synopsis of Remembrance by Rita Woods, I knew I had to read this. This book has a ton going on & the jump between the three timelines can get confusing if you aren't paying attention. Although it's been days since I completed this novel I am still processing. I love, love this book and would recommend this magical novel to everyone. 

Thank you Forge/Macmillian Press for gifting me this DARC via Netgalley in exchnage for an honest review.
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This book was such an unexpected surprise. I wasn't expecting this combination of historical fiction and fantasy, but I loved it.

There are four main characters. There is Gaelle, who is living in Ohio in the present day after an earthquake in Haiti destroyed her family home. There is Abigail, who is a slave in Haiti in the 1700's, forced to leave her sons behind after the death of her husband and after a yellow fever plagues the city. She ends up in New Orleans with her white owner. There is Winter, who has a connection to both Abigail and Gaelle in the past and present. Finally, there is Margot who lives with her sister Veronique and grandmother -- after a death, prevents the owner from granting them their promised freedom from slavery on their 18th birthday, they are sold and make the decision to escape with the Underground Railroad and manage to find the mysterious sanctuary from slaves in the form of the village of Remembrance. 

So obviously, there is a lot going on in this book. I will say that in the beginning, the timelines were a bit confusing. But that didn't make the women's stories any less compelling. And when the stories converged and the connections were revealed and the fantasy element introduced, things became even more interesting. I loved reading about these strong women who were willing to fight for their home and who would rather die free than live a slave. The main issue I had though was with Gaelle's chapters. There weren't a lot of them and I had a horrible time connecting with her. By the end of the book, I still wasn't sure who she was or why she was important. And that ending was just weird and left me with more questions than answers. Still an excellent read.
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A gripping historical novel. This is deeply haunting as it takes you through the lives of several women. Flipping between the past and present. A gripping and heartbreaking novel that stays with you long after. I hope they make a movie.
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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first 5-star book of the year. What an incredible story of four women whose stories are eternally intertwined. I especially love that it is the Black women in the book who have power.

There is a bit of fantasy and magic woven throughout, which I loved. This gave the book a slight magical realism feel, but it also emphasized the idea that there are forces in this universe that we simply don’t understand.

I truly couldn’t put this book down. I absolutely loved the story and the characters. I can’t wait to read more from Rita Wood.
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This was such a heart-wrenching and emotional story. I loved the interweaving of the storylines. Highly recommend this to anyone who wants a character-driving story that will leave you thinking about it way after you finish the last page.
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"Remembrance…It’s a rumor, a whisper passed in the fields and veiled behind sheets of laundry. A hidden stop on the underground road to freedom, a safe haven protected by more than secrecy…if you can make it there. "

Remembrance is a book that transcends genres. Set in both historical periods and modern day, lightly weaving in a magical /sci fi/ fantastical element. 

With majority all black cast, this book focuses on the realities of African-American people throughout the years. Contrasting storylines show the difference, but also similarities between these women hundreds of years apart- the lingering effects of colonialism and slavery. 

We mainly follow 3 characters
Ohio, present day: Gaelle works at a nursing home, and leads a largely normal life- except she discovers she may not be as normal as she thinks. 
Haiti, 1791: Abigail is a houseslave, but is forced to leave during the historical Haitian Slave Revolts. She meets two strangers who teaches her more about spiritual and magical abilities. She learns she has the ability to warp spacetime, and creates a safe space for Africans on the Underground Railroad, called Remembrance. 
New Orleans, 1857: Margot is a young house slave, and has to flee when plagues and diseases start to spread.

I enjoyed the beginning of this, Margot and her story in particular. I loved seeing the lives of these women intertwine. 
My investment and interest began to wane when the fantastical element was introduced. The pacing was also not ideal for me. It would pick up... and then fizzle out again. Every time I got invested it would switch POVs. 

This is definitely very original and diverse, so if you think you will enjoy the themes, you should check it out when it releases in January. 

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book!
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I received this from Netgalley.com for a review.

"Remembrance…It’s a rumor, a whisper passed in the fields and veiled behind sheets of laundry. A hidden stop on the underground road to freedom, a safe haven protected by more than secrecy…if you can make it there."

Several different timelines make the story difficult to follow at times. I think the emphasis of a fantasy/magical story that just happens to be set in a historical time period just didn't blend well for me.

2☆
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Sometimes you read a book, and you get so immersed in the story it's hard to say anything about what made it good technically. That is what I experienced with this book.

Off course, a huge part of it is build up, again, by the characters, who are not always nice, but always, always real. They are strong, but they fear. They love, they hate as well. They want to not just survive, they want to live.

This book made a big impression on me, one that will last for quite some time.
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I'm not sure where I stand with Remembrance, hence the neutral three star rating. There were parts that I really enjoyed and times when I didn't want to put it down. But there were also times when I felt like the story dragged and I had to push myself to keep going. I went into this book thinking it was going to be historical fiction, but in the end it was more of a fantasy read. It just wasn't quite my style.
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I loved this debut novel and it's characters. It travels easily from history to the contemporary. There is tragedy and human triumph. The scene varies from the exotic of colonial Haiti and New Orleans to a mythical refuge in Ohio. I am so happy that this author has embarked on a second career in literature. I was very impressed with her talent in the realm of magical realism that might rival that of some fine Latin American writers.
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This is how a fantasy, historical slave fiction novel should be written. Beautiful, intense, mystical, and wrapped in magical realism. 

Remembrance is a historical fiction/magical realism novel that takes place during two different time periods. The story follows three women in the pre-civil war era and one woman in the current day. Their stories intertwine in the novel, exploring the boundaries of physical space and stretching the limits of time, all while exploring the magic of vodun and other supernatural talents and abilities.

The women: Mother Abigail, Winter, Margot, and Gaelle. Somehow, each of these women are connected some way or another to each other in ways that go beyond time and place. 

Remembrance is a place that was created in an attempt to take revenge on white slavers. Runaway slaves come to Remembrance in hopes of escaping life from their oppressors. This place is a sanctuary and haven to those who need safety, life, liberty and God-given freedom. This place, Remembrance, was created with vodun magic, in such a way, that the former enslaved people are living invisibly right under the noses of whites in a village near Ashtabula, Ohio.  Created by the high priestess Mother Abigail, this little village houses black people who have fought for their freedom, have escaped a life of tortuous servitude, and has risked it all to live a life on the run. 

Mother Abigail, a former slave from Haiti, has created Remembrance in an attempt of revenge against her and other white slavers. Her story takes us to find out how she created Remembrance, and how out of pure hatred and ultimate sadness, this place came to be. 

Winter, as a baby, was brought to Remembrance.  This is the only home she has.  When situations arise at Remembrance, she has to decide if she’s going to fight for her home, or allow circumstances to destroy the only home she’s ever known. 

Margot, a runaway slave, has found herself in Remembrance after nearly escaping re-capture. She, however, feels that things are not how they seem in Remembrance.  She is curious as to how people are not caught or seen here, and she’s not going to quit until she talks to Mother Abigail about the strangeness of this place. 

Gaelle, in modern day, has found herself somewhat connected and drawn towards an old woman at her job. When she discovers the old woman’s name as Winter, she becomes curious as to how she came to be at the place of her employment.  

However, as time would have it, something is happening to and around Remembrance.  It is up to the people of Remembrance to decide whether to protect what is theirs or live a life in the shadows fearing recapture. 

The details in this book was impeccable. The timing, the flow, the pace, the plot lines, the twists, the ending!! Just a perfect read. I was literally caught on the edge of my seat throughout this book intrigued on what was happening. I swear there better be a part 2 because it ends on a cliffhanger!  I would rate this book a 5! 

If you didn’t like The Water Dancer, then this book is for you! 

Thank you to Net Galley, Rita Woods and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Completely unlike anything I've ever read, Remembrance is a fascinating glimpse into the history of slavery, with a huge helping of magical realism thrown in for good measure. It is impossible to review without spoilers, so I'll avoid saying anything more - all I will say is, the sections from Gaelle are probably the weakest, and as she is the first narrator you are introduced to it is easy to think the book might not be that good. Don't make a mistake and give up on it! Just skim her sections and move forward - it definitely gets better.
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A story told in different segments, different eras...the late 18th century New Orleans, revolutionary Haiti and the modern Ohio. In each of these eras the author tells a story of a woman of color, all different ages, but all equally as strong, each facing personal conflicts and struggles.  Each protagonist has the commonality of being of Creole ancestry, each having a different magic or power if you will.  Words floating on the wind, whispers from one slave to another, the message "freedom" the "Underground Railroad" and how to get there.  Racism, revolution, slavery...these are not just words, they are real, the lives of those who lived in the past and one particular word that sums up our present time. Ms. Woods has woven a tapestry in words that will long resonate within me. While the element of mysticism brought the entire book together.

My thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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