Property (2020)

Property Valerie Martin Property Property is theft so they say and in this novel the property is both an abundant sugar plantation and the former slave who is now the owner s mistress and the mother of his only child
  • Title: Property
  • Author: Valerie Martin
  • ISBN: 9780349117324
  • Page: 426
  • Format: Paperback
Property Valerie Martin Property is theft, so they say, and in this novel, the property is both an abundant sugar plantation and the former slave who is now the owner s mistress and the mother of his only child.
Property Valerie Martin

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    Valerie Martin

One thought on “Property

  1. Carol

    The evils and barbarity of slavery are effectively conveyed in this powerful and spellbinding novel The time period is 1828 and set in Louisiana nearly 40 years before the Civil War Property as a title fittingly describes the main premise of this book as it reveals the marital subjugation of Manon Gaudet, a bitter and unhappy wife of a sugar plantation owner and Sarah, a slave girl given to her as a wedding gift and the mother of two illegitimate children from Manon s husband Both women seethe w [...]

  2. Paul

    This won the orange prize in 2003 The novel is from the perspective of Manon Gaudet, a plantation owners wife It is set in 1828 in Louisiana It is rather brief and reads very easily, despite the horrors it describes The book is in three parts the build up to the slave revolt, the revolt and the aftermath Spoilers aheadManon is the daughter of a slave owner and her husband who she hates She describes the difficulties of her life with him he has a child with one of the house slaves, Sarah She also [...]

  3. Donna

    I was livid at the end or the last page of this book It was like it ended in the middle of the book As I was heading toward the last 10 pages of this book, I kept wondering, How is she going to finish this in 10 pages Welle didn t It just stopped Nothing resolved It is about the relationship of a slave and her owners The character of the slave is never developed all I suppose that the author wants you to read between the lines but I didn t get it The book was well written and intriguing but inco [...]

  4. Julia

    Property is, in my experience, one of the rare page turners that is not YA or fantasy sci fi Property is set in antebellum Louisiana, on a sugar cane plantation The protagonist and narrator is Manon Gaudet, the young wife of the plantation owner whom she loathes She and her husband are both fixated upon Sarah, a beautiful slave in their house who has born two children by her owner Manon can hardly be called a heroine, but she is both the best and worst thing about the book She is a fascinating n [...]

  5. Linda

    A short, severe readThe day before Thanksgiving I picked up the books I d ordered at my local library I wanted to be sure there were plenty of choices at home since the library would be closed for two days I found my stash on the hold shelf where I recognized the first two books but had no recollection why I d ordered the third, nor even a clue as to the subject of the thin novel Property by Valerie Martin turned out to be a compelling if shocking read The story revolves around Manon Gaudet, a p [...]

  6. Billy

    A strangely disturbing beautiful look at our twisted past,The characters in this novel are not really center, in my humble opinion The story isn t even really central The thing that this book holds at its core is a dramatization of the sickness in all of us the glaring truth of the fact that everyone is self centered and self loathing at the same time.The use of the harsh realities of slavery creates a discomfort that made me feel disjointed, not sure whom I should be feeling is the victim Obvio [...]

  7. Teresa

    The day I finished this book, it had me thinking all night What a tour de force it is To be able to write such a book from a first person point of view and keep you reading with the kind of woman the narrator is I m in awe And though she isn t sympathetic, you see the society that has made her the way she is and will always be Chilling.

  8. Debbie

    What did I just read Dear Author, I don t mean to be mean or disrespectful towards a work that is obviously your baby as all works by authors are However, I do need to ask a question that is very important to me A lot of my fellow readers may also agree that it is a topic of much importance I will not delay and will forthwith deliver my inquiry into this most pressing of concerns Please, if at all possible tell me whatIN THE SAM HILL WAS THE PLOT RespectfullyThis Confused ReaderOKAYThat sentimen [...]

  9. Judith

    The year is 1828a sugar plantation in Louisiana, where Slavery is in flower for both the slaves and slave ownersThe Slave Owners see slave rebellions around every corner they should, since their entire way of life is dependent on the labor of their lowly blacks.d, our heroine Manon Gaudet, is no exceptionough she is but the wife of a boorish Massa , Manon is not stupidjust crippled by her social status she is chattel to her husband, as much as his slaves and her relationship to Sarah her persona [...]

  10. Diana Petty-stone

    A riveting read for anyone interested in knowing about the relationship between slaves and their masters before the Civil War.

  11. Danna

    That America was built on the free labor of its slaves is common knowledge and many have heard the axiom , Our possessions possess us as well as the sins of the fathers are vistited upon the heads of the children It s hard to determine how many have considered what an institution such as slavery, in which Sarah, Midge, Delphine, and Walter are actual property, does to that property and to the owners It appears both become intimate enemies, owner and slave entwined in an amoral system that althou [...]

  12. gaudeo

    This book is an uncommon take on antebellum life in the South a tale told from the perspective of a white woman whose husband owns slaves And that fact that it is her HUSBAND who owns slaves is key here For the property that the novel depicts is not just the slaves themselves, and the children of those slaves, but also the material property that white women ceded to their husbands upon their marriage Martin very skillfully communicates the various binds that hold African Americans, white women, [...]

  13. Q

    Rarely do I finish a book and think, what s the point as I try to go where the author takes me However, Valerie Martin took me in many different directions e.g the comparative relationship between a daughter and each of her parents, slave vs master relationship, slave vs mistress relationship, slaves vs freedmen, Creole vs Whites, etc that I had difficulty understanding the foci of the story Perhaps there wasn t one Yet, with all of the slave narratives that exist, I expected of a book that had [...]

  14. Autumn

    Disturbing.Discomfiting.Dark.Those are the first words that come to mind upon finishing Property Property is not a story that I can say that I liked there is nothing to like here.Manon Gaudet is the wife of a plantation owner in 1828 Louisiana Her marriage is irretrievably broken, both by her husband s actions and by her own choice She is vain, arrogant, cold, and uncaring, judgmental in the extreme, and prone to extremism She hates the plantation on which she lives, despises her husband, and is [...]

  15. Arda

    Valerie Martin s Property narrates the chilling story of a sugar plantation and slave owner s wife, Manon Gaudet, who hates the plantation, despises her husband, dismisses the slaves, and strongly judges the characters around her She tells her bitter narrative from a haughty yet victimized point of view she is appalled by her fate as the wife of a boorish man who has made a raped mistress out of their wedding gift The young slave Sarah becomes the mother of her husband s two children, while she [...]

  16. Carol Bro

    Manon Gaudet lives in the deep South at a time when it s common to view certain people as less than human based simply on the color of their skin She grew up in a slave holding household and naturally continues the family tradition when she marries Thus, when she moves with her new husband to his sugar plantation just north of New Orleans, she takes with her Sarah, a family house servant gifted to her by her mother But she soon discovers her new husband has found other uses for Sarah beyond cate [...]

  17. Jo

    In the early 19th century Manon is married to a plantation owner in the south of America Her marriage isn t happy though and she longs to return to her old life in New Orleans There are also problems with the slaves and rebellion is in the air It was hard to feel sorry for Manon in some respects because she was part of the system that took people from their homes in Africa and treated them no better than animals But Manon was also a victim of the patriarchy and she found herself trapped in a lov [...]

  18. Nick

    Watching an ice skating competition last weekend, I was startled to hear as background music sandwiched between the usual pop and Stravinsky s Firebird , the theme from Gone with the Wind Valerie Martin s Property is the blistering, concise rebuttal of Margaret Mitchell s maudlin evocation of an Old South with gallant owners and slaves who speak when spoken to and then only in accordance with accepted myth Property is something very different, starting with the title this is an Old South with vi [...]

  19. Kathy Duncan

    Valerie Martin taught creative writing at NMSU when I was a student there My relationship with her was merely one of exchanging hello in the hallway of old Young Hall Her students had only good things to say about both her teaching and her writing.I find I also have only good things to say about her writing While we can never go back in time and share in the inner workings of the human heart and mind of the slave owner, Property comes close If plantation wives had ever dropped the mask of decoru [...]

  20. Becca

    The thing This book may be another victim of poor timing, of me being at a point in my life where just about everything about this book annoys me It is possible that it would improve on another reading at a different time The problem Very little about this book makes me want to read it again.I think I m maxed out reading books, particularly told in first person about people of relative privilege who only see what they don t have and are unwilling to suffer for change This is too harsh a critique [...]

  21. Theresa Leone Davidson

    Oh, how I would have loved to have read this one with a book club It would be interesting to hear interpretations of everything that went unexplained in the novel, narrated by our main character, Manon, wife to a plantation owner in the South and owner of Sarah, her personal slave The book does an excellent job with describing how unfair life was to white women at the time, who were property much in the same way that African Americans were property Of course they still had it a WHOLE lot better [...]

  22. Viji(Bookish endeavors)

    A touching story about slavery The relation between the owner and the slave is portrayed with all its sophistication The title is apt property To treat a human as an object seems shocking enough And to add to that,this book has some really disturbing situations None of the characters are pictured as black or white but as the grey area of normal life We can sympathize with any of them according to our inclination Wonderful presentation,this book has The writing is neither too touchy not too rough [...]

  23. Avital

    Property, a book by the excellent writer Valerie Martin The Confessions of Edward Day, Italian Fever deals with the state of women as possessions at the time of slavery in the United States Martin offers an original slant in her profound dive into a white woman s psyche and situation as she, Manon, tells her life story and the life of her female slave, Sarah While Manon tries to release herself from the greedy possession of her husband, she is unaware of repeating the same pattern of an owner an [...]

  24. Kristen

    After reading WenchI thought I would give this a try.I WAS WRONG.I had a hard time really engaging with the narrator, Manon, who happens to be the Plantation Owner s wife She has a harsh view of the world being the wife while the other woman is cherished Mind you the other woman is a slave girl who really has no choice in the matter of who wants who The story is set amongst the backdrop of slave insurrections, rebellions, and murders Needless to say that one scene halfway through left me want to [...]

  25. Wiebke (1book1review)

    This was a surprising read, since I had just picked it up on a whim without ever having heard of it However, the stories of those two different women and their lives is fascinating Also the writing and how you see everything through the eyes of the horrible narrator and yet get a clear understanding of what life is like is amazing.I was truly sucked into the book and flew through it.

  26. Carla

    Pretty interesting book I need to pay attention to where I either hear about books, or who recommends them to me This story takes place in 1828 in Louisiana on a sugar plantation A woman, Manon, is married to a man she loathes, the owner of the plantation Sarah takes the brunt of the wife s resentment being a slave Sarah has two children from Manons husband There is a revolt and a dramatic confrontation Manon s obsession to subjugate her husband and Sarah know no ends I don t know that I would [...]

  27. Paula Dembeck

    When this novel opens in Ascension Parrish Louisiana in 1828, Manon Gaudet is watching her husband play a cruel sex game with the young negro slave boys on his sugar plantation It is an obscene, humiliating and uncomfortable scene Manon is the sole narrator, ready to tell her story but in a way that keeps the listener on her side She wants the reader to see the world through her eyes and from her point of view she wants their understanding, their compassion and their concern And so she takes thi [...]

  28. Aimee

    This book provides no answers, no solutions That alone makes it stand out among feel good race relations books like The Help The narrator she can t really be called the protagonist and certainly not the heroine is Manon Gaudet, married to an unnamed sugar plantation owner whom she holds in deepest contempt He has fathered two children with Manon s maid Sarah, and for this Manon despises Sarah even than she despises him.Manon is not a sympathetic character perhaps she is somewhat pitiable due t [...]

  29. Joanne

    I first heard of Valerie Martin when I came across a review of THE CONFESSION OF EDWARD DAY I read it in a single gulp, and searched for other works by this author PROPERTY is mesmerizing, disturbing, evocative and haunting Although none of the characters is what I would describe as sympathetic each is compelling and the relationships among them illuminates the human ability to compartmentalize, dehumanize the other, and generally perceive the world through the narrow porthole of self interest.T [...]

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