Grace in Africa is a sweeping historical three-part saga of slavery and freedom that takes the reader from an island off the west coast of Africa to Southern plantations and finally on to Canada. All her life, Grace Winslow, the daughter of a mixed marriage between an English sea captain and an African princess, has been forbidden to ever approach Zulina, the fortress that juts out into the sea off the African coast. In book 1, when she escapes the family compound to avoid an odious betrothal, she is swept up in a slave revolt. As the truth about Zulina unfolds, Grace begins to grasp the brutality and ferocity of the family business-the capture and trade of slaves. Held for ransom, viciously maimed by a runaway slave, and threatened with death, Grace is finally jerked into reality when her parents leave her to die rather than negotiate with the slaves. Grace sympathizes with the plight of the captives, and she is genuinely moved by the African Cabeto's passion, determination, and willingness to sacrifice anything, including his own life, for his people's freedom. With much of the island in flames, and the slaves freed, Grace is abandoned by her parents. Where shall she go? Her old nursemaid Mama Muco, opens a missionary Bible that she has managed to save and points to Isaiah 61: "The Lord has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound...?o give unto them garlands of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning." It's a new beginning for Grace.
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by Kay Marshall Strom
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