Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters
This was a powerful read. Racism is both a straight forward and complex subject. A lot of it involves a reality I cannot comprehend because it’s alien to my everyday life. This novel uses the magic of alternate history to peer into that reality.
Story wise it’s a slow burner that eases you into an alternate United States where slavery was never abolished in the south. By the time you’re painted the full picture, shock gives way to sad acceptance how this could have been:
Under the Fugitive Persons Act, those who escape from service are to be captured and returned, anywhere they are found in the United States, slave state or free.
This is an excellent book on its own. But I’ve gone back to that alternate reality a few times over the past month to be a better listener to the recent protests.