BOOK REVIEW: The Call of Zulina--by Kay Marshall Strom

To be honest, when I first picked up The Call of Zulina, I had no idea what to expect. The beautiful young woman on the cover made me wonder if I hadn’t accidentally gotten hold of a romance novel (not my thing). But here, the author takes her character, Grace Winslow, the daughter of a mixed marriage between a salty white English slave trader, and a stern imperial African princess, to the most unexpected of places. Grace, who has been raised only in luxury due to the fortune her father made in the slave trade, suddenly finds herself one of them—won’t tell you how, read the book! But the slaves are not alone, one man stands ready to help—but will he be in time? Fortunately, it’s not a white man always bad, slave always good type of book. Slavery was complex, with both African and white man involved, and Strom brings this out. Grace, the main character, has to navigate both the white world as well as the slave world she is suddenly thrust into. This is one of those, got to read the next chapter even if I’m tired books—because she really ratchets up the suspense. I’m not sure what riveted me more, the fascinating and painstaking historical reality of slavery that Strom writes about, or the fascinating story line and characters she has developed. It’s just a really good read that happens to teach you something important, about slavery, about the human condition, and about faith struggling to remain afloat in the midst of it—all without coming off the least bit preachy. Can’t recommend this book highly enough, and am eager to read the next in the series. Do yourself a favor—read the book. This is the first book in the Grace in Africa series.
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