Rating: 4.5 / 5
I saw some good reviews of THE PROPHETS by Robert Jones, Jr., so I added it to my January Book of the Month box. I new it wouldn’t be an easy read, but I went in with high expectations.
THE PROPHETS centers on the story of Samuel and Isaigh, two slave men who find love in the midst of the horrors of slavery. Others who see them recognize their great love and passion, but not everyone accepts that. When a fellow slave turns to religion, it is of the variety that calls out their love as sin and turns people against them, causing a deep rift in the community.
Trigger warnings for depictions of violence and rape.
This is a hard book to review because it is hard to put all my thoughts into words. The story is one of beauty but also so much ugliness. The author approaches the story through multiple perspectives so we hear about the relationship between Isaiah and Samuel from the men themselves and also others around them, each with a different viewpoint. One thing I really enjoyed was that the author also uses unique POVs like describing the point of view of a tree which bears witness to the hangings it has seen.
The author does a fantastic job of building up his characters and these unique viewpoints. The story isn’t always entirely linear and I can see this being one that would benefit from rereading to really sink into the full scope of the story. I did have to take my time with this one to try to absorb as much as I could.
It is a very difficult read much of the time, but beautifully done and well worth the read!