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Book Review: Das Mädchen von Louisiana /The Girl from Louisiana

Title: Das Madchen von Louisiana

Author: Ernst Joseph Gorlich

The story is set in American South before Lincoln became president. Mr. Brand, the owner of a cotton plantation, has fallen from his horse and because of the accident, he died. Since his wife died a long time ago, his daughter Susanne inherits his wealth.

When Susanne returns from boarding school to her father’s funeral, their family lawyer immediately recommends she has to find her father’s testament. Without it, she can’t inherit plantation. Susanne’s mother was black but she as well didn’t know that because she’s so light-skinned. The only one who knew this was a lawyer because Mr. Brand told him.

To her horror, she can’t find testament and lawyer start to treat her like other slaves. Susanne ends up on the auction with other slaves and things from the plantation.


First of all, I want to point out that this book was originally written in the German language. I own it in Slovenian translation but I couldn’t find if an English translation exists. Probably not. But it truly is a beautiful book and I reread it many times since I was little.

The book takes place in that period of history when slaves were working on plantations and had absolutely no rights. They are treated like animals or objects. It also shows a difference between the mentality of South and North America. In the North, things are slowly changing and going for better, while the South still remains conservative and white people are still superior.

Soon, a fourteen years old Susanne discovers this. Initially, she’s shocked because of her father’s sudden death, then at the news that her mother was black and later when she’s completely astonished when she finds herself in the role of a slave. A girl, with a good education, which always got everything she desired, finds herself in chains and on auction, where she’s sold like a horse. She realizes how unfair white people treats slaves, what kind of injustices are happening and how are they treated by their masters. Her new life is difficult, her new mistress is evil and she’s lost in a new situation.

This book will break your heart. It breaks mine every time I read it. It’s a simple story for younger readers. But still, it’s an excellent display of particular period in our history, a time of discrimination and humiliation based on skin color. It also shows, how quickly life can around and how someone’s life can change in a second. It’s a short and bitter story, which I recommend to read if you have a chance.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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2017 Reading Goals

I know… I know… I’m late again. But because I haven’t read any book yet, I think it’s still time to write a post like this.

So, like every year, I set myself a few reading goals and challenges and hopefully (yes, I say this every year) I will manage to complete all of them (I have to mention, that I never do, ha).

Goodreads

Just like in the past years, I’ll be participating in Goodreads Reading Challenge. This year I want to read 50 books. I think this is the most reasonable number for me – it’s not too low but still not too high. capture

Bralnica

Like I already mentioned, Bralnica is Slovenian page for book lovers. Every year they prepare a reading challenge – it looks like a Bingo and you have to complete 25 different challenges. I like this challenge because it forces me to read all kind of different books.

My reading goals

  1. I want to read at least one classic per month.
  2. I want to complete a few series.
  3. I own a lot of books. Usually, I just buy them and they end up on my shelves, lonely and forgotten. So I decided that I’ll motivate myself a little bit. For every 5 books that I will read (I have to own them), I can reward myself with buying a new book. Otherwise, I will not buy any new books.

Those are my reading goals for 2017. Do you set yourself goals or you just go with the flow? :) I would love to hear your thoughts in comments!

 

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2016 Year in Review

I know, I’m a little bit late with this post but nevermind. I’m going to do it anyway because it’s always fun to see, how my reading year was like. I set a few reading challenges last year, but I’m aware that I haven’t achieved many of them. It happens, ha.

I take challenges for fun and in some way they “force” me to read books that otherwise I would never read.

Goodreads

Like every year, this is the first goal that I set. I usually set my goal to read 50 books in one year, just like I did in 2016.

This year, I succeeded and I read 52 books. The last couple of months were stressful and hard and I really didn’t have much time to read. So I’m really happy that I reached my goal. Yay!

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Reading challenge in Bralnica.

Bralnica is Slovenian forum for book lovers and every year they make a challenge consisting of 25 books with different topics. I will not translate all the challenges, I’ll just write the ones I haven’t done.

1. Read a book with color in title

2. Read a book which was published in a year of your birth

3. Read a book which is criticized by other readers

4. Read an LGTB book

5. Read a book where the main character is a singer

6. Read a book that was recommended to you by your relative

7. Read a book about the myth or a legend.

As you can see, I was not so successful. It was ok, I’m still pleased with it but I could read just a few books more. Some of those remaining challenges were not so hard.

2016 Classics Challenge

This one was my biggest failure. The Challenge is, to read a classic book every month. I tried, I really did. But… I only read 4 books. I know… It’s bad. I’ll be better next year, although Stacey from The Pretty Books blog won’t do this challenge anymore.

Do you also participate in challenges? How did you do? You can share your thoughts about challenges down below or just give a link to your post.