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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review - PROPERTY by Valerie Martin

For some reason my uploading of photos is failing so there is no cover picture to indicate anything about this book. Winner of the Orange Prize of 2003 Property is a look at Southern Life (note the capitals) in America during the time of the Civil War.

My reading for this period is sketchy and my knowledge of the American Civil War, the revolt by the slaves, and this turbulent period of history is very limited. I was horrified at the very inhuman way our main protagonist Manon Gaudet views life, her husband and the slaves. Her husband is evil enough, she is evil through absolute indifference to their plight, to being even aware of the people as humans. It displays both Manon, and the people all around her as being almost inhuman and today would be accused of war against humanity for their behavior towards their slaves.

Manon is a young, unhappily married woman who romanticized marriage and thought she was getting a catch for her husband. Within a day and a night her ideas were thrown out of the window and she grew so detached from him, that her only idea was that one day he would die and she almost wished it on a daily basis. Her indifference was appalling whereas his feelings towards her were both hypocritical and different. They were both concerned as to what society would think while both of them inwardly wished to be rid of the other, and as quickly as possible if you please.

The minds of Manon and her circle made me find it difficult to even read the book - I was cringing inside at the way everyone behaved towards their slaves. Slaves were not people, not even property as they described it but almost like an inanimate thing to be kept/disposed/sold at the whim of their owner. This was a horrific period to read about but I was glad I did. An education of the mind if nothing else.


  1. It was a horrific period and I'm sure a tough book to read. I'm not familiar with it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Thanks Mystica for coming by with your congratulations. Baby and Mommy are doing fine.

  3. Wow, this sounds really good. I'll keep this book in mind when I'm thinking what to read about the Civil War.

  4. Sounds like I'd learn a lot from this book even if it was a tough one! Thanks for the great review.

  5. Bad blogger for not showing covers :/

    Anyway I am glad you enjoyed this book, even if it as horrific

  6. I was anxious to read your thoughts as this one sits on my TBR shelves. It does sound good, but tough to read in parts it seems. Nice review.