She Would Be King
|It's not a boat.|
This was such an intriguing novel! It takes a little while to figure out the overall structure, but since each individual story is also compelling, that is not a drawback at all. Taken together, the various pieces form a mosaic imagining the establishment of Liberia in the first half of the 19th century -- and how it could have gone better.
There are three protagonists: Gbessa (pronounced Bessa), a native African woman whose village pronounced her cursed at birth; June Dey, who escaped slavery and ended up on a ship to Liberia by accident; and Norman Aragon, a Maroon of Jamaica whose enslaved mother had just one dream -- to get to Freetown in Africa. Their stories are narrated by a ghost. Each of the three has a special gift, and each of them eventually uses the gift to help the helpless, communicate between the native Africans and the African-American settlers, and help to make Liberia a place where all can be free.*
This is an excellent novel and I recommend it! I really got into it.
*Perhaps it really would have taken super-powers instead of ordinary human beings...