A More Perfect Union

Tammye Huf (Myriad Editions)

“Starving ain’t the only dying we know about…When somebody owns you, there ain’t nothing they can’t do to you.”

Tammye Huf’s A More Perfect Union tells the story of two lovers from different worlds and their struggle to be together.

As a Black woman of African and Caribbean heritage, reading novels about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade has always made me feel slightly uneasy. For a long time, I avoided slave narratives in fiction and film because I didn’t know how to process the emotional pain. Time and time again I have heard people wield the suffering of the Irish indentured servants during the Great Famine of 1845–1849 to invalidate the significance of slavery, so I was intrigued by Tammye Huf’s interracial romance between a white Irishman and a Black slave woman, based on her great-great-grandparents’ own love story. Huf describes each struggle with equal attentiveness and neither is brushed off as insignificant. Huf describes each struggle with equal attentiveness and neither is brushed off as insignificant. However, as Huf’s heroine so aptly puts it, “Starving ain’t the only dying we know about… I know you’ve been though a hard, hungry life… I want you to understand that slave suffering is a different thing. When somebody owns you, there ain’t nothing they can’t do to you.”

This is definitely one of those stories that will make you feel deeply for things that didn’t happen to you: to cry at fictional misery, grieve an imaginary loss and cherish moments of a make-believe forbidden love. Along with the touching romance and theme of courage through strife, this book is a tear-jerker. Be ready with tissues and don’t forget to rehydrate. Tammye Huf is a talented writer, and I look forward to her future work.

Read my full review at BAD FORM REVIEW

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