“My biggest problem, according to Mau Mau, was learning to be silent.” Sojourner Truth never did learn to be silent, and many generations are thankful that she did not. In this novel, Sojourner tells her story in a strong, honest voice that refuses to be stilled. Her early childhood years were spent with her mother and father, but at the age of 10 she was sold as a lot with a flock of sheep. Her new master despised her Dutch language. He would not let her speak Dutch even though he knew it himself. She was abused and neglected by some of her owners, yet she was able to teach some to respect her. Sojourner’s first opportunity for freedom left her with a choice between that freedom and her own family. When the laws of New York let Sojourner be free, she continued to struggle to find freedom for others.
Ms. Sheehan allows Sojourner to tell her own story, both the good and the bad. She shows a picture of a strong, capable woman who has endured much, but is, in the end, without bitterness. This is a comfortable historical novel. Although it doesn’t dwell on the abuse Sojourner endures, it doesn’t overlook it either. It portrays a woman, wise beyond her years, yet not afraid to struggle for herself and others. A good read for the whole family.