Yellow Wife: A Novel By Sadeqa Johnson

Review by Jamie Stanley

Historical fiction is one of the most popular fiction sub-genres. It addition to transporting readers to the past, it is unique in that it focuses on the re-creation of time and place. The best work is immersive and akin to time traveling.

Pheby Delores Brown is our narrator. Her story is based on Mary Lumpkin, a Black slave who co-habited with Robert Lumpkin, a brutal slave-trader known as “the bully”. Pheby, Robert and many other slaves resided on “the devil’s half-acre” in Virginia, the largest slave-trading hub in the country outside of New Orleans. Propelled by love and belief in her children, Pheby makes very difficult choices navigating the complexities of life in the confines of the jail compound that is her home. This book is a propulsive read, easy to pick up, difficult to put down. Highly recommended for older teens and adults.

Review courtesy of Northfield Public Library
210 Washington St. | Northfield | guides.mynpl.org

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