Look to the Hills
by Patricia C. McKissack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Look to the Hills (New York Colony) / 0-439-21038-0
Lozette Moreau is a pampered French slave, a "companion" to her mistress, and her life is one of ease and luxury. Her "work" consists of following her mistress to the opera, and practicing fencing with her, never manual labor under harsh conditions. She is never beaten or harmed, she is taken exceptionally good care of, her mistress loves her, and she is allowed to speak her mind as she sees fit. And yet, through all this, she is a slave. If her family needs money, or if her mistress tires of her, she can be sold at any moment, against her will, and uprooted. And though she is loved, as a slave she is never truly respected or treated as anything more than a human 'pet'.
Lozette longs for freedom. Throughout her adventures in America, she eloquently argues that she can never be a true friend to her "companion" unless her friendship is freely given and could be freely taken away. She argues that without the ability to refuse to be a companion, any "choice" she has to be a companion is meaningless and not true friendship. As her mistress searches for her lost brother and learns about life in America, outside of high society, she comes to respect both her own African slave and the American Indians she encounters in her travels. When she finds her lost brother married to an American Indian, she recognizes that they are much happier in America than in France, and she chooses to follow her brother's example - becoming a wife and a friend to people not of her own race.
This is a beautiful Dear America book and will touch the reader's heart. As Lozette struggles passionately for her freedom, we are caught up in the narrative as we pray that she will be successful and will win what so many were able to only dream of.
~ Ana Mardoll
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