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King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village | [Eleanor Herman, Peggielene Bartels]

King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village

King Peggy chronicles the astonishing journey of an American secretary who suddenly finds herself king to a town of 7,000 souls on Ghana's central coast, half a world away. Upon arriving for her crowning ceremony in beautiful Otuam, she discovers the dire reality: there's no running water, no doctor, and no high school, and many of the village elders are stealing the town's funds. To make matters worse, her uncle (the late king) sits in a morgue awaiting a proper funeral in the royal palace, which is in ruins.
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Publisher's Summary

The charming real-life fairy tale of an American secretary who discovers she has been chosen king of an impoverished fishing village on the west coast of Africa. King Peggy has the sweetness and quirkiness of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and the hopeful sense of possibility of Half the Sky.

King Peggy chronicles the astonishing journey of an American secretary who suddenly finds herself king to a town of 7,000 souls on Ghana's central coast, half a world away. Upon arriving for her crowning ceremony in beautiful Otuam, she discovers the dire reality: there's no running water, no doctor, and no high school, and many of the village elders are stealing the town's funds. To make matters worse, her uncle (the late king) sits in a morgue awaiting a proper funeral in the royal palace, which is in ruins. The longer she waits to bury him, the more she risks incurring the wrath of her ancestors. Peggy's first two years as king of Otuam unfold in a way that is stranger than fiction. In the end, a deeply traditional African town has been uplifted by the ambitions of its headstrong, decidedly modern female king. And in changing Otuam, Peggy is herself transformed, from an ordinary secretary to the heart and hope of her community.

©2012 Peggielene Bartels, Eleanor Herman (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“This is an astonishing and wonderful book about a real life Mma Ramotswe. It is an utter joy." (Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (50 )
5 star
 (31)
4 star
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3 star
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4.4 (48 )
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4.6 (48 )
5 star
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    phillip toronto, ON, Canada 02-23-12
    phillip toronto, ON, Canada 02-23-12 Member Since 2011

    From the way she acts when I take them off, I've a feeling my baby girl thinks I have headphones graphed to my skull.

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    "Long Live the King!"

    I had to keep reminding myself King Peggy is a true story. It's more entertaining than a lot of fiction I've read lately. I found myself the ultimate spectator, cheering King Peggy and her people on as they root out the corruption and lies of the elders and set about making life better for the village. It made me smile and scowl and practically dance with glee at times and mostly made me wish we had a leader who cared as much about our people as King Peggy cares about hers. I would love to hear our head of state threaten to " Squeeze your balls til your eyes pop out of your heads ". Long live the king, may she never have to go for a cure in the village!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Pontiflet Fairfield, CA USA 01-30-14
    R. Pontiflet Fairfield, CA USA 01-30-14 Member Since 2013

    retired writer

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    "Excellent Story, Well Written and Well Narrated"
    Would you listen to King Peggy again? Why?

    Yes, I will listen to this story again because it is full of cultural aspects of Ghana, ie, pouring drinks for their dead ancestors, their rituals, and how they value family even in the light of disappointments.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of King Peggy?

    When the King had to accept that her ideals about her elders were wrong.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed the entire story... but when the King had to explain to the counsel of kings how she had buried the wrong king.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The tag line would include a line indicating that against all odd the Lady King made majaor improvements to her village within a short period of time.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Fairfax Station, VA, United States 05-01-13
    Monica Fairfax Station, VA, United States 05-01-13
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    "Love King Peggy!"

    I live right outside Washington, DC and invited King Peggy, via Facebook, to my bookclub meeting last weekend since we would be discussing her book, SHE CAME, ALONG WITH HER COAUTHOR and she is as witty and amusing as in the book! She told us more stories about her people....their innocence reminds me of those described in "The Number One Ladies Detective" novels.

    The narrator did a great job with all the voices too!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracilyn United States 02-02-14
    Tracilyn United States 02-02-14 Member Since 2010
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    "If You Want a Heart Touching Listen...."
    What made the experience of listening to King Peggy the most enjoyable?

    This one is a enjoyable, simply because the story is heartwarming and was something I could not put down my ipod or my other audible device until the very last word of the story. I was so heart-touching that I want to meet King Peggy and tell her that she is a wonderful king and learn her secrets to how she apply her life learning skills to her kingship. I would love to bring her to my county here in Maryland have her share her story with the children so that they know that when the dark moments come that they still be all that they can be.
    I hope that she reads my comments and reaches out.


    What about J. Karen Thomas’s performance did you like?

    She brought a voice to the Book that was more than likely that of the true King Peggy's voice I really thought it was her until the end of the book during the credits.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There was laughter and tears all the way through the book


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    disudds SLC, UT 10-04-13
    disudds SLC, UT 10-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Amazing story"

    The whole time I was listening to this book I kept asking myself why I never heard this story before. King Peggy is inspirational both as a book and a person. Peggy Bartels became a Ghanaian King at the death of her beloved uncle and the story of her taking the stool, ruling as king, and burying her uncle in the royal manner is a ride through the unbelievable in contemporary Africa. Peggy's dealings with her elders are hilarious and her insistance that she is a "man" make some of the funniest parts of the book. Her natural ability to lead as she puts her people first is inspiring to leaders who also desire to improve their environment. How anyone could read this book and not be won over by Peggy is beyond me.

    The performance is very well done with the perfect mix of changing voices and nice African accents. J. Karen Thomas brought me right into the village and didn't let me out until the story ended with me wanting to listen to more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne St. Charles, IL, United States 06-20-13
    Jeanne St. Charles, IL, United States 06-20-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Continents Merge Royally"
    What made the experience of listening to King Peggy the most enjoyable?

    The unlikely happenstance that this real-life experience occurred. As an Audible book it was even more engaging because of the wonderful accents. Felt like I was there in the village.


    What other book might you compare King Peggy to and why?

    "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Shaffer and Barrows. Both are fascinating books, and must reads as Audible books. The narrators make one want to travel to the story locations.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When she led her council meetings. And getting for former king buried.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, if only I had that kind of time.


    Any additional comments?

    A delightful story that captured my interest even with the original synopsis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrea Richmond Hts, OH, United States 01-30-13
    andrea Richmond Hts, OH, United States 01-30-13
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    "The Great king Peggy"
    What made the experience of listening to King Peggy the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed this book as well as the reader...


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    king Peggy
    I admire her willingness to take on each challenge.


    What about J. Karen Thomas’s performance did you like?

    Her ability to bring the characters to life


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 10-08-12
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 10-08-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Entertaining look into a different world"

    This audio takes you inside the head of an ordinary person who goes from being a secretary to a king. It is non-fiction but reads like a novel. Her brutal honesty is at the same level of someone on the TV show like Dr. Phil. (I always wonder why anyone would get so personal in public.) Her journey had many challenges but her passion and commitment help overcome them. This is one of the many reasons you want her to succeed. This audio gives you an inside look at the culture, some issues facing villages in Africa as well as how someone’s beliefs in spirits affect their decisions. It was interesting hearing how and why she would work with corrupt elders. While I recommend this audio an abridged version would be better for she repeats herself a fair bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dee dee J los angeles, ca United States 07-08-12
    dee dee J los angeles, ca United States 07-08-12 Member Since 2009

    soulgood

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    "Love King Peggy!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    My Book Club read this Wonderful book! we all loved it. My sister in law had saw the interview of King Peggy on 60 minutes and recommended to the group


    Have you listened to any of J. Karen Thomas???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narrator was very good


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    wonderful story of how King Peggy took on her People through strength, love, perseverance, and lots of Prayer!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Oxnard, CA, United States 05-09-12
    Tracy Oxnard, CA, United States 05-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "very enjoyable"
    What made the experience of listening to King Peggy the most enjoyable?

    I've only listened to the first of two parts, but this is a great book. I saw Peggy a few months ago on MSNBC's Morning Joe show.


    What did you like best about this story?

    She's very fierce.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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