by Johnson, Jocelyn Nicole | USA
Published 04/11/2021 by Vintage Publishing (Harvill Secker) in the United Kingdom
Hardback | 304 pages
‘ELECTRIFYING’ Colson Whitehead
‘ABSOLUTELY UNFORGETTABLE’ Roxane Gay
At a time of rolling blackouts and terrible storms battering America, the neighbourhood of First Street, Charlottesville comes under attack by violent white supremacists. A group of friends, families and strangers flee together in an abandoned bus and head for the hills above town. Led by Da’Naisha Love, they arrive at Monticello, the historic plantation-home of Thomas Jefferson, deserted but for its ghosts.
As a young Black descendant of Jefferson and Sally Hemings, Da’Naisha has a complex relationship with the house. Tentative at first, the group explores rooms, forages on the grounds, and finds a kind of shelter. But the terror from their town is coming closer, and soon they have an impossible decision to make.
My Monticello is the story of nineteen heart-stopping days of refuge and reclamation, told by Da’Naisha with courage and with grace. This deeply moving novel is a searing indictment of racism past and present, and a powerful vision of resistance, community and hope.
‘ONE OF THE FINEST NOVELS OF 2021 and A FUTURE CLASSIC’ The Bookseller