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My Jim by Nancy Rawles
The Jim in My Jim is the escaped slave who accompanies Huck Finn down the Mississippi River. This not so much Jim's story as it is his wife's story. Sadie Watson was a young girl present at Jim's birth and felt a connection to him ever since. Even though they eventually married, they lived apart because they belonged to different slave owners. When Jim escaped, he had hoped to attain not just his freedom, but his family's as well. Sadie, though, suffers at the hands of her owners, losing her children and enduring the rapes and cruelties at their hands. Even after emancipation, she finds the freedom offered during Reconstruction an empty promise. Her love for Jim and her inner strength carry her forward as she relates her story to her granddaughter. Nancy Rawles's novel provides new insight into Jim's life and the world of slavery he left behind. My Jim has received positive reviews with the Christian Science Monitor saying, "Here, finally, is the Jim we can only glimpse between hijinks and humiliations in Huck Finn - a man who's clever and tender, romantic and tragic. And there's just no escaping his wife's voice. I read some chapters without blinking. In her perfectly artless manner, Sadie moves through a love story that's horrible and harrowing, but somehow she arrives at an affirmation earned with her own blood."