I absolutely love this book. I was ready to re-read it almost immediately. The author, a man, has done a wonderful job of writing women characters that are real women. They each have their own voice and personality and none are too passive or aggressive. He writes all the characters well, for that matter. They are all so human. The whites who are upholding slavery are obviously flawed but not just because they uphold a system of treating people like chattel, but also because some of them can't even keep up the charade of heartlessness. James makes strong use of the patois dialect and the dialogue between characters was often crass and vulgar. For me, there was quite a bit of nervous laughter while reading this book and I never got completely comfortable with the harsh language. But, I think this is good as it exemplifies how well paced the novel is and how Marlon James is a master story teller. No matter what was said and how it was said, I was completely engrossed in the narrative.
The idea that a group of women could come together to attempt something so dangerous and requiring such cunning and craftiness makes the story appealing. It was refreshing to read a story of plantation life that didn't depict the women as all merely helpless creatures susceptible to being ravished by any and every man. This does occur but these women are not afraid to take control be it through physical violent recourse or Obeah. Elements like Obeah, patois dialect, and maroon communities in cooperation with slave owners made for a rich tale of Jamaican plantation life. The most important element were these women who were bound in body but not in mind and spirit.