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Hardcover Sapphire's Grave Book

ISBN: 0385503237

ISBN13: 9780385503235

Sapphire's Grave

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The debut of a major new talent, SAPPHIRE'S GRAVE tells the stories of several generations of African-American women, bringing their spirit and their sorrow to life with a power, sensitivity, and immediacy. In 1749 in Sierra Leone, a woman of fierce dignity is captured and forced onto a slave ship. On the harrowing voyage to the Americas, she is beaten for her unrelenting will and staunch pride. When she arrives, she gives birth to a daughter who...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Good but confusing

This book was good and the story she is trying to tell is great but she doesn't follow any sort of progression and leaves the reader lost and trying to figure out what just happened. Its almost like reading Beloved, maybe it requires a reread to fully understand what's going on with the characters. For instance, I though Sister was the one who was raped and killed her infant but now I see it was really Sapphire.

Captivating Narrative

Sapphire's Grave is one of the BEST narratives of a generation AFrican women. I apreciated how it spanned the years, showed how the unkindness and/or bravery of one soul can resonnate for years. This book made me deal and face my own demons. I'd recommend it highly.

A Compelling Story!

This was easily one of the best books I have read this year! I had a hard time putting it down. I was drawn into the lives of the characters. I felt their pain and found myself in their midst. The author is an inspiration. I hope that this will be one of many more books to come!


Sapphire's Grave is a moving and poignant debut novel by Hilda Gurley-Highgate. The author transcends two centuries to reveal the foundation of a family: an African captive called Sapphire because of her beautiful blue-black skin tone. Her physical statue and dauntless attitude commands a semblance of respect from everyone, including her enslavers. Sapphire remains strong, defiant, and unbroken despite the horrors of the Middle Passage, systematic rape, physical beatings, and back-breaking slave labor. So daring is she that immediately following a brutal act of sexual abuse at the hands of her owner who promises to do the same to her infant daughter when she is of age, Sapphire kills her daughter rather than allow the child to suffer the same fate she herself has endured. At death, Sapphire is hastily buried in a shallow grave, but her tormented soul cannot rest. In spirit form, she approaches each of her female descendents and evokes memories and visions for them to discover, awaken, and use their inherent inner strength to love themselves, gain self-respect, and obtain inner peace to survive in a cruel and difficult world. For the next two hundred years, Sapphire touches the bewitched Sister, the prostitute Vyda Rose, the lovelorn Jewel, the artistic Clovey, and truth-telling, outspoken, shameless Rae'ven who embodies Sapphire's spirit completely and thus allows Sapphire to return to the grave satisfied and fulfilled.The author writes in a thoughtful, lyrical prose which educes a myriad of emotions and reader empathy for the characters. Gurley-Highgate offers the reader an introspective look inside the lives and minds of the lead characters and their lovers. She clearly illustrates how Sapphire's spirit changes, fortifies, and empowers her daughters regardless of their station in life. There is a valuable lesson in this book for all women regardless of race and/or socio-economic class.So touching and well written that this book has earned a place on my best reads list. Bravo, Ms. Gurley-Highgate! A job well done...I cannot wait until the next release.Reviewed by PhyllisAPOOO BookClub, Nubian Circle Book Club

It's in their blood

Sapphire's grave was shallow. Years after her demise, she comes back to visit Sister, her posterity, in the form of visions and feverish hallucinations. Reliving the torturous vignettes of Sapphire's life, Sister's own persona changes dramatically - from a passive wife to a strong daughter. The story continues with the daughters of Sapphire, spanning time frame of over 100 years. Never tiring, instead, hypnotizing, this journey through time is finely crafted through Gurley-Highgate's depiction of daughters and lovers. Almost melodious, her prose sings to the reader of the inheritance Sapphire leaves for her progeny.Sapphire's Grave was a book that buried me deep. I was entranced by the immortal legacy of a slave woman who passed gifts and burdens to her daughters, foreordaining them to her unrest.Reviewed by CandaceK
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