THE CALL OF ZULINA by Kay Marshall Strom


Age Range: 15 & up
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A sheltered young woman comes to terms with her family’s stake in the West African slave trade in the late 1700s. The first volume in Strom’s slavery-themed Grace in Africa trilogy, this chronicles the moral awakening of 21-year-old Grace Winslow, the overprotected offspring of an African princess and a British sea captain. To escape an arranged marriage, Grace musters the courage to escape her family’s European-style compound—only to fall prey to renegade slaves. Sequestered at a nearby fortress as she awaits ransom, Grace soon learns of her parents’ complicity in the slave trade. And when revolt brews between the slaves and traders, Grace must choose between family or fighting injustice. The prose is fluid and engaging, but the narrative raises more questions than it answers. Readers are sure to ponder how the protagonist spent two decades living next door to a slave compound without realizing her parents owned and operated it. Furthermore, many characters are not developed enough to explain significant shifts in behavior that seem to come from left field. An inadequate treatment of a compelling premise. (Historical fiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4267-0069-9
Page count: 324pp
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2009