The 2 stars are for the first, excellent 100 pages or so. We are introduced to our title character and narrator, an 11-year old slave on a Barbados plantation. The pacing, character development, and horrible tension are pitch-perfect. However, things go very downhill for the next 3/4 of the book. It becomes all tell and no show, and all from a narrator who becomes increasingly (and almost laughably) unbelievable -- and not in some unreliable narrator way, but in a poorly-conceived way. The coincidences and twists of fate are ridiculous. I found myself often saying "Wait... what??" And especially disappointing after the strong beginning and the very often beautiful writing. Sorry for the lack of details but the very idea of trying to explain the far-flying plot exhausts me.
My daughter tells me that I read this book with an expression that was "mostly confused but kind of pissed off too." Bingo.