This novel was incredibly painful to read at times but extraordinarily well-written and clearly incredibly well- researched. Colson Whitehead is obviously a scholar as well as a writer. This makes a novel that is historical in nature much more believable, even when the author changes parts of history.
Whitehead’s depiction of the railroad as an actual railroad was an interesting revision in that it gave the characters a moment to wait for while moving from one location to another. There was time for reflection and then rapid movement.
When one of the characters, Cora, is hiding in the attic, the reader gets a more realistic glimpse of what is involved in the having the Underground Railroad to help slaves to freedom.
Whitehead also uses different voices and out of order sequencing to illuminate both the character’s personality and the motivations and background of the characters