Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Book Review and Book/Art GIVEAWAY: Libertie, by Kaitlyn Greenidge {ends 4/6 - three winners!}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Dear Libertie,

You have only written me of music and nothing of your studies. Miss Annie tells me that you are planning, with the ladies of the old LILS, a concert in the summer -- I would wish to know about it. I hope you will tell me of it when you come to stay.

Emmanuel is eager to hear of it, as well. I fear he grows bored here, out in the country, as it is. But he does not wish to go downtown and he rarely travels to Manhattan.

I am most excited for you two to meet. I think you will find him an excellent brother in study. He is so levelheaded, so calm, so persevering, that it is impossible not to wish to work as he does.

It is strange to have someone in the house who is not you, who is not my daughter.

I am eager to welcome you here, to your home, to where you belong, before you leave me again for your studies.

I hope this is not a sign that my Libertie is leaving me behind.

Your Mother

The constant in Libertie’s life has been her mother, and her mother’s career as a doctor willing to care for anyone. What if Libertie could be someone different?

Official synopsis:
Book Review: Libertie, by Katilyn Greenidge
Coming of age as a freeborn Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie is to go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother, who can pass, Libertie has skin that is too dark. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come.

Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and rich with historical detail, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new and immersive novel will resonate with readers eager to understand our present through a deep, moving, and lyrical dive into our complicated past.

This book was a great reminder of how hard growing up can be. Libertie Sampson, of course, had even more challenges. While living as a freeborn Black girl, she still saw slaves trying to escape. She knew she and her mother had always been free, but sometimes she wondered if freedom was all it was cracked up to be. Libertie saw that she suffered more prejudice than her mother and others with a lighter skin tone. Listening to other free peoples’ stories from around the world, Libertie begins to wonder if freedom is ever a reality.

The historical fiction aspect of this book spoke quite clearly to Libertie’s struggles as a Black woman. Her character seemed defined first growing up in her mother’s shadow, and then as an overlooked woman when her mother’s notoriety in the local community didn’t make her recognizable far from home. Her search for self was somewhat universal. She wondered internally at who she should be, when no one was telling her who to be anymore.

Libertie’s story and quest for her own identity was touching. It was easy to forget the book took place so long ago. I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to those who like unique historical fiction and coming of age stories.

{click HERE to purchase}

Becki Bayley defines herself as a wife and mother. She also enjoys reading and posting about what she’s read at SweetlyBSquared.com.


THREE of my lucky readers will win a copy of Libertie, as well as an 11x14 inch frameable art print of Libertie on high quality textured paper!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Tuesday, April 6th, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be contacted via email and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner(s) will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Libertie, by Kaitlyn Greenidge - book + art print


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