Send Judah First: The Erased Life of an Enslaved Soul by Brian C. Johnson follows the life of an enslaved girl, kidnapped from Africa and sold in Virginia in the pre-American Civil War era. Dr. Johnson is a preacher, teacher, as well as finding time to write.
- 6 hours and 32 minutes
- Publisher : Hidden Shelf Publishing House
- Language : English
- ASIN :B08XVTBZ6Q
Altogether, Send Judah First: The Erased Life of an Enslaved Soul by Brian C. Johnson is enjoyable on several levels. It is a well written story, historically fascinating, as well as intellectually engaging and stimulating. Additionally, the story behind the novel is just as fascinating.
The story is told from the view point of Judah, an enslaved cook. The dialect and realism of speech, coupled with Judah’s keen insight, as well as a mechanism for her to overhear conversations works very well.
Judah is an enslaved cook, a most difficult job, which allows her to work inside. Dr. Johnson took care to particularly discuss the meal preparation – that alone was, for me, worth the price of admission.
In the novel, the author gives the plantation owner, James Madison‘s brother-in-law as a matter of fact, the role of a minister. This allows the characters to discuss their hypocritical stance on Christianity balanced against the institution of slavery in a most interesting manner. Mr. Johnson does admit that, in essence, he created this role solely for the religious discussion in the end notes.
As a teacher, Mr. Johnson took his class to the Belle Grove Plantation on a trip where he eventually found Judah’s name recorded. She was enslaved as a cook, and gave birth to twelve children. That’s it, a whole life summed up in a sentence or two.
Undoubtedly, each life is world of its own, Mr. Johnson created a fascinating, yet fictitious account of Judah’s life through impeccable research and abundance of talent. The audiobook was narrated by Elizabeth Isitor, a perfect choice that brought much to the story using her exotic voice and accent.
Judah’s life was shattered when she was stolen from her village in Africa. Judah was beaten, chained and enslaved, ending up as an enslaved cook at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, VA.
Judah cannot understand how her master, a reverend, can preach the Bible and also own people. Taking care of her children and cooking three meals a day for over 100 persons, Judah’s life is punishing – especially by today’s standards.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
*Amazon links point to an affiliate accou