28. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead My rating: 4 out of 5 stars Cora is a young woman born a slave on a brutal Georgia plantation. The daughter of the only slave to ever escape, she is oppressed by the masters and by her fellow slaves. Caesar, another of the slaves, tells her of the Underground Railroad and convinces her to run away with him and take their chances. The Underground Railroad is a network of tunnels and underground rail lines with safe houses run by abolitionist "station agents", helping to whisk slaves to safety in the north. Cora manages to get onto the Railroad and starts a difficult and dangerous journey north. Throughout, Cora is shadowed by the Javert-like spectre of the implacable slave hunter Ridgeway. This book demands a COLOSSAL suspension of disbelief when you consider the likelihood of a multi-state underground rail infrastructure being built under the slavers' noses and nobody noticing. Once you get past this yawning chasm in Whitehead's plot, the book is a gripping read, with much to say about slavery and the fear that drove its perpetuation.