About the book:
With a brilliant mind and a fierce will to survive, Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a kidnapped African princess, is rescued from enslavement at seven years old and presented to Queen Victoria as a “gift.” To the Queen, the girl is an exotic trophy to be trotted out for the entertainment of the royal court and to showcase Victoria’s magnanimity. Sarah charms most of the people she meets, even those who would cast her aside. Her keen intelligence and her aptitude for languages and musical composition helps Sarah navigate the Victorian era as an outsider given insider privileges.
But embedded in Sarah’s past is her destiny. Haunted by visions of destruction and decapitations, she desperately seeks a place, a home she will never run from, never fear, a refuge from nightmares and memories of death.
Based on the real life of Queen Victoria’s Black goddaughter, Sarah Forbes Bonetta’s story is a sweeping saga of an African princess in Victorian England and West Africa, as she searches for a home, family, love, and identity.
I write historical fiction, and my third novel, The Other PRINCESS: a novel of Queen Victoria’s Goddaughter, will release from William Morrow Books on October 3, 2023. My first two novels, WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES and IN THE FACE OF THE SUN, were dual-timeline novels that explored the 1920s in Chicago and Los Angeles, respectively, and the entertainment industry. Each novel featured a cast of courageous, flawed, adventurous, and sometimes dangerous female protagonists.
My novels explore the African American and/or Black experience in well-researched stories that I am proud to share as one of the Black authors worldwide telling these stories.
My love of American, European, and African history I credit to my maternal grandmother, Ella Elizabeth Joseph, who immigrated from Kingston, Jamaica, to New York City in 1923. I also must give my maternal grandfather some love, too. He was born in French Guiana and fought in the Great War (WWI) in France. In exploring my ancestry, like many African Americans, my family’s roots are in West Africa, today’s Nigeria. I am also first generation Bermudan (on my father’s side) and second-generation Jamaican (on my mother’s side).
This program is in partnership with Ashland Public Library.