Onion/McBride’s portrait of Brown, while certainly an exaggeration, nevertheless gets to the heart of the matter––Brown’s willingness to die in the service of his belief that God wanted him to put an end to slavery. McBride’s portrait of Frederick Douglas, on the other hand, may disturb some. It isn’t favorable, but in that sense, it continues a feud which has gone on now for 150 years and is likely to last another 150. Rarely has history been mined so creatively to retell an important story in a manner that allows us to reflect on contemporary society. I’m adding McBride’s other novels to my to-read list.