Go Tell it on the Mountain

Posted on Aug 15, 2011



Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin is the 5th book (halfway done!)  in my summer book project.  I had never read anything by James Baldwin before which is very remiss of me since my maiden name is Baldwin.  I used to tell people in school that James Baldwin was my uncle.  Then again, I also used to tell people that the Baldwin brothers were my cousins.  :)




This was a hard novel to read.  First it took awhile to get into the novel and to become invested in the characters.  There isn't a lot of action in this story, so it started a little slow and dry.  But towards the end, I was completely into the book and really enjoyed it.  




It was also a hard novel to read because of the subject matter.  The story takes place in Harlem in the 1930's.  There are several horrific accounts of white people brutally attacking black people which was very hard to read.  It was also hard to read about the domestic abuse that happens in the family who is the center of the story.  The patriarch of the family is a preacher who constantly abuses his wife and children.  The oppression this man of God causes his family, especially his son John, is tragic.  It has been said that this story is a very autobiographical one.  James Baldwin also had an abusive preacher for a father.  James became a preacher at the age of 14 which is the same age as John in the story.  At the end, just like Surfacing, the reader is left to figure out how it ends.  I personally think that at the end, John is strong enough that his father will no longer abuse him.  All in all, it's a very worth while read, but it is tough.




  1. I love his short story “Sonny’s Blues.”

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  2. Thanks Erin! I’ll add that to my reading book list.

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