Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book Review : The Call of Zulina by Kay Marshall Strom

“No one will come to help you. We all called in every language we know, and no one ever comes to help.”

The Call of Zulina by Kay Marshall Strom

Book Details:
  • Title: The Call of Zulina (Grace in Africa)
  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (August 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1426700695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426700699

Purchase from Amazon / Eden / Kay's website

WEST AFRICA, 1787: Grace Winslow, daughter of a mixed marriage between an English sea captain and an African princess, is swept up in a slave revolt after she escapes the family compound to avoid an odious betrothal. As the truth about the fortress Zulina unfolds, Grace begins to grasp the brutality and ferocity of the family business--the capture and trade of slaves. Despite being held for ramson, viciously maimed and threatened with death, Grace casts her lot with the African captives. She is especially moved by the African Cabeto's passion and willingness to sacrifice anything, including his own life, for his people's freedom. Leaning on the faith of her nanny Mama Muco, Grace risks everything to follow her heart.

The Call of Zulina explores the theme of slavery, which has aroused controversies and debates from people all around the world. In this story, Grace Winslow is my favourite character. She has her own scales of justice. She fights for what is right until the very end – even if that means to go against her parents. Her bravery, determination and desire for freedom will capture your heart.

Despite of being an African princess, Lingongo sells her own people to Westerners as slaves in exchange of gold and more gold. She is heartless and evil, and has no mercy for anyone – including her own daughter. Lingongo never love anyone. In her heart, there are only two things : hatred and revenge. She even leaves her daughter to die, and has no intentions of saving her only child. I find her completely disgusting.

All Joseph Winslow thinks about is to marry Grace off to a wealthy but repellent man to ensure unlimited financial supports. Sometimes Joseph's way of conversing is a little bit confusing (he's a sailor). I really pitied Grace's condition. She seems to have everything, but the truth is, she is merely a pawn of her parents, and she is seriously lacking of freedom. Luckily, Mama Muco is always there for her, supporting her in every way.

In chapter four, the author tells us how the peacefulness of a small village is destroyed by slave traders. The scene is heart-breaking...Almost everyone in the village is captured, chained, and eventually sold to faraway places, where they'd be a slave for their whole lifetime. If anyone fights back, a bullet will promptly end their lives. I just don't understand why would these slave traders do such inhumane things to the native Africans. If they were the ones who are captured, how would they feel?

The Call of Zulina by Kay Marshall Strom is an exciting tale which reminds all of us of the brutalities of slavery and resonates with the clear message of banishing slavery in all forms. I enjoyed reading this book, and I look forward to reading the second book of the trilogy.

I'd like to express my deepest gratitude to Kay Marshall Strom and Gina Stinson for sending me a paperback copy of The Call of Zulina. THANK YOU!!!

Rating : 8/10

Purchase from Amazon / Eden / Kay's website

About the author:

Kay loves to write, and she loves to share what she writes about. Guess you'd call her a natural-born communicator! Author of 36 books and numerous magazine articles, Kay's work has appeared in many compilations and book clubs, and around the world in many languages. She has recently completed three new non-fiction books and a historical novel trilogy.


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Clueless_Mama said...

Hey, thanks for the review. I am not sure if this would be my type of book, but sometimes I think I should branch out more. I may have to look into it.