Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was everything I wanted it to be! It was well-researched, well-written, and utterly drew me in. I could NOT put this book down, and then I could wait to come write about it!

Pheby is a slave, but has been promised freedom on her 18th birthday by her father & master. When the master falls ill and her mother dies, Pheby is sold to traders and taken to a jail to be held for auction. After catching the eye of the owner of the jail, she is moved into his home and soon becomes his mistress. This story follows Pheby’s life as she navigates the horrors of the jail created by her husband, Rubin. She must keep her children safe, but also finds the atrocious actions by Rubin to be more than she can handle. How can she balance the life she now lives?

This was such an utterly amazing story. It is so obviously well-researched, and it tells a story that I have not read in historical fiction before. The lives of these women that were married to white slave traders was eye-opening.

Pheby’s character was amazing. She’s strong and smart, but she is in such a horrible circumstance. I loved reading about her life and found that when the book was over, I just wanted to read more!

This story is filled with horrible actions, described in a level of detail that makes you cringe and cry. It’s hard to read, and creates such an emotion-filled journey, but it’s well worth the read. The disgusting treatment of human beings is hard to stomach, but I learned a lot while reading this, and it opened my eyes to yet again, more horrors of slavery.

Overall, I absolutely loved this story. It is a book that will stay with me for a very long time, and I highly recommend it for historical fiction fans!

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Yellow Wife to readers that enjoy a historical fiction novel that will sweep them into the story.

Where to Find This Book:

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson is available at these sites.

Amazon ~ Goodreads


A young female slave is sold to a married man who intends to start a family with her, even as he manages the particularly cruel estate, the Devil’s Half Acre, where thousands of black people are beaten, broken, and sold.

Just the Facts:

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 288 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub Date: January 12, 2021


I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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