4 out of 4 stars
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The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden by Londyn Skye is a romantic time-piece story about a slave named Lily and her childhood friend/master James. The story is set in the late 1800s around the time that the United States was transitioning between free states and getting close to the Civil War.
As dark as the story sometimes feels, given the history and what we all remember from US history, the story easily enthralls you with hope and romance. Lily was torn away from her mother at a young age and sold into slavery. The fact that she was the daughter of her mother’s master makes this story even more nuanced. Lily was bought by Jesse Adams to be their house servant. While not treated very well, there were tender moments shown by the other slaves as well as the Mistress of the House, Mrs. Adams. Unfortunately, Mrs. Adams died young, as it seems, from very disturbing circumstances. Jesse had three sons but the son closest to her age, James, became an unlikely kindred spirit to Lily. As children do, they became friends ignoring color and status. It was only when James was older that James noticed his son’s friendship with Lily. James was swiftly dealt with and turned a cold shoulder to Lily which we find out later why. James then left for school and stayed away from Lily. It was only when he came home and caught Lily playing the piano did the story change drastically. It is certainly a marvel to see the story that unfolds from there.
What I found difficult about the book is really knowing history. It was difficult to read in that I was expecting the ‘shoe to drop’. While I wanted to believe every aspect of the story and how kindhearted some people were to Lily, the reader would know that at any turn things can often change for the worst. I felt in that respect, the changes in nature and disposition were sometimes a little too dramatic and unbelievable.
Still, this book was hard to put down. I really wanted to see what became of Lily and James. I would rate this book a 4 out of 4 stars.
I would recommend this book to a mature audience. Anyone looking at a truly beautiful story that will uplift your heart and perhaps restore a bit of faith in the nature of people. This is not a book for your readers as there is some sexually graphic nature and very dark parts of the book.
The Prodigy Slave, Book One: Journey to Winter Garden
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