The story in Forbidden is centered in a time of slavery and prejudice and progresses as slavery is abolished. Though now free, many of the former slaves now have no place to go and are forced to continue working on the same plantations as their ancestors while still being treated as inferiors.
The book starts off telling the stories of several generations of both slaves and plantation owners and how each was influenced by the other. The back story was immense and detailed before introducing the main character, Christian.
Christian was never quite sure about his past. He was a devoted Catholic raised by the elders of the church, whom he thought of as parents, since he was a baby. Whenever he asked about his past, the subject was quickly changed, remaining shrouded in mystery to not only Christian, but also the outside world. Christian had been sheltered by the church his entire life from the city around him. When Ma Nelton, his adoptive mother, passed away, he felt the urge to explore the world he had lived in all his life but knew very little of. Free to make his own decisions.
The events that follow help him understand where he came from and in turn who he really is, though some of these things may have been better left unknown.
The story telling was very well written and comprehensive. Though some parts could get rather gruesome in the depiction of violence, they all served an important purpose and help the reader envision what life was like back then. Through details and accounts I felt like I was present during the events taking place, immersed in the world around me as the events unfolded before my eyes.
I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this book when I first got it. It’s a rather large book which I thought might give me some trouble since I’m usually more of a casual reader, however once I began reading I couldn’t put it down. I loved every minute of this book and will happily give it 4 out of 4 stars. I should state however that some of the subject matter can be a bit graphic and should be reserved for a mature audience.