Any Known Blood was my second read of the year. The story begins in Canada, where speech writer Langston Cane V pulls a hilarious stunt with the Prime Minister’s speech. It leads to the Prime Minister, and subsequently Langston, being “fired with cause.” After viewing the incident as a chance to start anew, he sets out to reconstruct the lives of his ancestors, particularly the four generations of Cane men that preceded him.
This is an intricate story that delves into the lives of the Canes’ paths to manhood beginning with Langston’s great-great-grandfather’s new start in Canada after his escape from slavery, though he never could call it home. He eventually returned to the US to participate in the raid on Harpers Ferry. Each of the five Cane men’s stories are told and it is Lawrence Hill doing what he does beautifully - historical fiction.