4 out of 4 stars
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The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden, by Londyn Skye begins by defining the harsh definition of a slave in Virginia in the year 1845. Slave owner Levi Collins snatched a female child from her slave mother in order to sell her on the market as he would a bag of cotton. Her mother fought fiercely for her only child. The difference between this nine year old girl and others he had taken and sold, was that this one was his own daughter.
Levi had named her Lily the first time he saw her as an infant, and her mother Maya believed that had meant that she was safe from being taken and sold as a slave. Levi's wife Emily, who knew of her husband's infidelity, had six children who were all boys and had always yearned for a daughter. She saw that Lily had her father's green eyes among other familiar attributes.
At her new master's home, Lily quickly became close friends with his youngest son James who was about the same age as her. James did many of her chores to ensure that his father never beat her or sold her. Six years into their special childhood friendship, James' father began forcefully teaching him how the white man was to treat slaves, and James never spoke a kind word to Lily again up until he left two years later for medical school. Arriving back home after a 6 year absence, James treated Lily as harshly as ever. This brought Lily thoughts of wishing to end her life since she had no one around her to comfort her or to confide in.
This book is very well written and it immediately drew me in. I enjoyed reading it and found myself fully engrossed in the story from the beginning.I liked how each chapter began with a fact about slave rules at the time so that the reader could get a very real sense of what the slaves were experiencing from their owners at that time and place in history. Some of these rules also severely affected the slaves' masters as well if they broke them. I loved how the author takes the reader inside the minds of the main characters so that the intensity of their thoughts, feelings and emotions could truly be felt. This made me either feel sympathy or anger for the characters, depending. The story was not predictable to me and it kept my interest piqued throughout the book. There is a beautiful and highly satisfying underlying message throughout the novel. This was a heartwarming story of love and hope with a surprise "guest" and a twist at the end. The book seems professionally edited. I only found four minor typos that did not detract from the story.
Due to adult sensuality, this book is not for children. Anyone offended by detailed and explicit scenes of sensuality will not want to read this book. Anyone who does not want to read a book with foul language and the name of God taken in vain, will find this book difficult to read in parts.
This book will appeal to those who enjoy stories of an underdog who rises to the top by their own merits through understanding and owning their worth. I found it very encouraging to myself personally. If you enjoy stories containing characters standing strong in the midst of pain and oppression, you will probably enjoy this book. I give the book 4 out of 4 stars. There is nothing that I disliked about this book. The writing was professional and entertaining and I found myself easily reading fifty pages or more in one sitting.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden
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