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The Long Song

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This three-part miniseries based on Andrea Levy’s award-winning novel about the end of slavery in Jamaica follows July (Tamara Lawrance), an indomitable, young slave who works on a sugarcane plantation with her detestable mistress, Caroline Mortimer (Hayley Atwell). Their lives change with the arrival of a new overseer, Robert Goodwin (Jack Lowden) who sets out to improve life on the plantation.

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I’ve seen the first two episodes. Intriguing story.  Mistress Caroline is awful, but so oblivious to how awful she is. Robert Goodwin has his own twisted idea of what is moral. 
During the first episode, July being taken from her mother and given to Miss Caroline broke my heart.  Marguerite/July took chances for her own little rebellions and got away with some of them.  When she carelessly rinsed Miss Caroline’s hair as an example, it was one of those little rebellions, but nothing deliberate was provable.

I haven’t read the book that inspired this series but I expect it to be worth reading.

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I only saw last week's episode, but I was quickly caught up in the story.  Initially I had high hopes for the new overseer since he had some very progressive ideas.  But once he chose to deal with his attraction for Miss July

Spoiler

by marrying the plantation owner and keeping her as his mistress, I knew that didn't bode well for their future. 

I'll watch the final episode tonight, but I'm already prepared for him to break her heart.

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The final episode was gripping. Master Goodwin thought he had the upper hand, but made huge mistakes by underestimating the workers. He ended leaving as a failure, but still delusional in his righteousness. As they were leaving Amity, I wanted to slap that smug look off Mistress Caroline’s face. How they managed to take Emily from July was so devious and cruel. 
July was nearly broken by it all, but survived, struggling with life. When I watched the courtroom scene, I just knew that the young man was her son, and so happy that it was true, that she got her boy back after such a long separation.

This was a moving story and one that should be told.  

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Well, I knew Goodwin was going to break July's heart but I didn't expect them to take her baby with them to England.  I assumed Caroline wouldn't want a reminder of her husband's infidelity, plus it didn't look like she'd be able to pass Emily off as her child.

I was glad that at least July got something of a happy ending with her son finding her and rescuing her from poverty, as well as her hope that by writing her story Emily might one day see it and learn about her real mother.

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This was a lovely mini-series, but I wish they made it 4, or even 5 episodes.  The 3rd episode seemed rushed, and there was easily so much more story to tell.  How did July survive all those years?  How did her son find her?  How did he reach his position?  Did the novel just jump forward 20+ years, too?  or was there more source material that could have been used?

Haley Atwell was unrecognizable to me, and I think she did a great job of portraying such as miserable, reprehensible, clueless person.  I thought Goodwin was going to go mad before he left.

Historical question, if anyone knows... what happened to the actual physical estates when the owners (like Goodwin) just up and left?  Were they bought by other white men, or left to ruin, or what?

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