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?

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The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate – Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

No two readers read the same book, because we all see the words through different eyes, filter the story through different life experiences.

The Book of Lost Friends – Lisa Wingate

Well, I loved EVERYTHING about this book. The Book of Lost Friends gave me an absolutely stunning story with amazing characters, adventure, a quest for answers and missing people, and above all, insight into the history of the time. It was a beautiful story, and I cannot say enough how much I loved this book.

After reading Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, I knew that I wanted to get my hands on The Book of Lost Friends once the release had been announced. Her ability to write about a time in history is one-of-a-kind. She creates a dual-timeline for the story, giving you perspective into the historical timeline as well as the present-day timeline and the impact the history had on today.

I was drawn into the love of literature that is written about in this book. There were so many beautiful and poignant quotes that hit home for me. I’m sprinkling them throughout this review because they were amazing and I want to share them!

If there is magic in this world, it is contained in books.

The Book of Lost Friends – Lisa Wingate
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Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved: With the characters years older than where we left them at the end of Yellow Crocus, I loved seeing the changes in each of their lives. The children of Lisbeth and Mattie have led very different lives than these two women did. I really appreciated the way the author showed those differences, giving each character experiences in the book that helped them to appreciate the lives they led and the sacrifices their parents made to get them to where they are today.

How I Felt: This beautiful sequel answered all the questions I had from reading the first book, Yellow Crocus. I was so excited to find this book, Mustard Seed, starts a few years after the first book. It gave the story time to develop and made such a wonderful plot! The book tackles some the subjects of women’s suffrage, civil rights, and the post-civil war behaviors and sentiments of the south. I loved that these issues were shown to the reader through the writing, rather than told to us. It was perfect.

Content Warnings: Derogatory language and slavery.

To Read or Not To Read: This is a wonderful book with a powerful story that would be great for readers that enjoyed The Help or the first book in this series, Yellow Crocus.

It’s 1868. The civil war has ended and we find Lisbeth and Mattie both living in the same town in Ohio. They live their separate lives, seeing each other rarely, as befits each of their statuses, but always remembering their special bond.

Lisbeth is called home to her dying father’s bedside and she decides to take both children with her to see their grandparents and her childhood home.

Mattie has decided it is time to head south to rescue her remaining family that are still living on the plantation. She demands that both her son and daughter accompany her to help and see where their roots are from.

From there, both parties of travelers come across obstacles and issues that they must overcome before they can make it back to Ohio. The story unfolds beautifully and will keep you reading way into the night to know what happens next.

Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim
Sequel to Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
Page Count: 284 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pub Date: Nov 7, 2017

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Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: I stumbled across this book as I was perusing Amazon’s Kindle library. The synopsis grabbed me and I was not disappointed! The relationship between the two main characters, Lisbeth and Mattie was so beautiful. I loved being able to watch their relationship develop from Lisbeth’s birth. While the story covers a terrible part of American history, the story of these two people was beautiful.

How I Felt:

I am always intrigued by stories of the south before the civil war. I quickly become engrossed in these books, specifically if it covers escape to freedom, which this one does! I really appreciated the author’s ability to show me Mattie’s perspective of this story. As a young mother and slave, she is taken from her very young baby to nurse the brand new baby, Lisbeth at the Big House. Her sadness at the loss of early motherhood moments with her son struck me to the core, but I loved the development of her loving and tender feelings towards Lisbeth.

This book was a bit different from many stories that I have read like this, as the focus of the book was on the relationship between a child and her nurse. It focused greatly on Lisbeth’s experiences in life and how those affected Mattie. This also worked in reverse, as Mattie’s life experiences leave a lasting impression on Lisbeth. Her opinion of the world and her family are forever changed by what she sees in Mattie.

Content Warnings: Slavery and use of derogatory names.

To Read or Not To Read: Readers of books like The Kitchen House and The Help will enjoy this book immensely!

What’s This Book About Anyway?

At birth, Lisbeth is given a young slave as a wet nurse. Mattie, the nurse, is a new mother herself, but is removed from her cabin and baby to live in the Big House and care for Lisbeth. At first Mattie is resentful of little Lisbeth, as she is THE reason Mattie has been taken away from her baby, but she grows to love the little baby, caring for her day and night. Mattie looks forward to each morning and evening as she gets the chance to look out the window to see her little son as he enters and leaves their cabin.

As Lisbeth nears her first birthday, a brother is born and Mattie is taken from Lisbeth and assigned to the new baby. Mattie is heartbroken at this change and Lisbeth is despondent. She becomes so ill, Lisbeth’s mother finally calls for a change assigning Mattie permanently to Lisbeth. From there, the two bond and grow together. This book takes us through Lisbeth’s childhood and into early adulthood. It brings their story to life with beautifully written words and leaves you wanting more at the end.

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The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom


What I Loved: The emotional roller coaster created by the author.
How I Felt: This was definitely a sad story. My heart broke over and over for the characters, but I was so intrigued by the story.
To Read or Not To Read: A book worth reading! Oh my goodness, I just enjoyed this book so much!
Lavinia, a white orphan, is enslaved on a tobacco plantation for a number of years. The plantation master has her working in the Big House, but she befriends many of the slaves that work the fields as well. She breaks the rules of the plantation and finds that she has set off a catastrophic chain of events for herself and the other slaves.