Top critical review
FREDERICK DOUGLASS: POWER AND SEX, A FINE COMBINATION
Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2015
Frederick Douglass has fascinated me for as long as I've been aware of him -- which is a long while since I'm 80. Of course Douglass was crucial to the abolishionst cause but in addition, he was wonderfully majestic in appearance. His overt sexuality may have threatened many but also proved irresistable and, in a novel, the author was free to explore that aspect of his character - and take us to bed with him. (Thank you...) Rhodes' research did not seem to be exhaustive but she was especially effective in depicting Anna, Douglass's (black) first wife. Almost nothing was developed regarding the (white) second wife. Rhodes spoke with what I, a white woman, imagined to be a strong, authentic voice while "being Anna" but her depiction of Ottilie was less developed and did not ring quite so true. I've been to Germany many times and did not recognize what I will carelessly call Ottilie's "German-ness." I needed to follow Douglass deeper into his life after the novel ended.