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Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth. A Sad Comment on Society

Sacred Hunger

This well researched historical fiction, with its double plot, casts a sad reflection upon how the slave trade was managed and also on the caste of mind of the richer men regarding their arrogance towards women.

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It’s an engaging read, one can get involved in some of the characters, and the men especially are well drawn. We get to meet people from all classes of life, and I found one of the two principles very unlikeable – but I was still was drawn to follow his relentless pursuit of riches and his quarry.

We are given some quite graphic details of the conditions on a slave ship, and we can see repeated some of the horrors in the suffocating lorry loads and overloaded boats of migrants today. It is hard to imagine the feelings of the uprooted slaves, but in this book, the feelings (or lack of them) in the slavers is considered.

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I learned things I would rather not know about our own past history and was kept engrossed in the story right up to the very end. In fact, the final chapter is quite nail-biting.

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