• Africaville

  • A Novel
  • By: Jeffrey Colvin
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • 3.0 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Africaville  By  cover art

Africaville

By: Jeffrey Colvin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
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Publisher's summary

A ferociously talented writer makes his stunning debut with this richly woven tapestry, set in a small Nova Scotia town settled by former slaves, that depicts several generations of one family bound together and torn apart by blood, faith, time, and fate.

Vogue: Best Books to Read This Winter

Structured as a triptych, Africaville chronicles the lives of three generations of the Sebolt family - Kath Ella, her son Omar/Etienne, and her grandson Warner - whose lives unfold against the tumultuous events of the 20th century from the Great Depression of the 1930s, through the social protests of the 1960s to the economic upheavals in the 1980s. 

A century earlier, Kath Ella’s ancestors established a new home in Nova Scotia. Like her ancestors, Kath Ella’s life is shaped by hardship - she struggles to conceive and to provide for her family during the long, bitter Canadian winters. She must also contend with the locals’ lingering suspicions about the dark-skinned “outsiders” who live in their midst. 

Kath Ella’s fierce love for her son, Omar, cannot help her overcome the racial prejudices that linger in this remote, tight-knit place. As he grows up, the rebellious Omar refutes the past and decides to break from the family, threatening to upend all that Kath Ella and her people have tried to build. Over the decades, each successive generation drifts further from Africaville, yet they take a piece of this indelible place with them as they make their way to Montreal, Vermont, and beyond, to the deep South of America. 

As it explores notions of identity, passing, cross-racial relationships, the importance of place, and the meaning of home, Africaville tells the larger story of the black experience in parts of Canada and the United States. Vibrant and lyrical, filled with colorful details, and told in a powerful, haunting voice, this extraordinary novel - as atmospheric and steeped in history as The Known World, Barracoon, The Underground Railroad, and The Twelve Tribes of Hattie - is a landmark work from a sure-to-be major literary talent. 

©2019 Jeffrey Colvin (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Africaville

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Beautifully believable

As an amateur genealogist and African American history buff I appreciated the following the stories of these families and putting the generational puzzle pieces together. The characters were well developed and beautifully believable.

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Beautiful Book

This is a unique and beautiful saga that spans generations, and takes place across Canada and the U.S. It provides a glimpse into a culture that I never knew existed, but found fascinating. This is a must read.

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Waste of Time

I tried to like this book but the author gave me nothing to work with. None of the characters made me "feel" anything. Nobody was likeable. They weren't hateable either. They were all just "there". Things happened at the end of a chapter that you thought would create some drama and then in the next chapter the story had just moved on. Maybe it had even jumped years ahead. This was a very dry book with a boring tone to it and served no purpose.

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Hard to follow and understand what happened

hard to follow and understand what happened or is happening. good story to understand segregation and how these people often feel.

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