Africville

A Novel
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: Fiction, African-American

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Publisher's Summary

This debut novel is the richly woven story of a town settled by former slaves on the outskirts of Halifax, Nova Scotia, known as Africville, and of the Sebolt family, who moves there in the 1930s. 

Teenager Kath Ella Sebolt wants desperately to escape the town that she equates with deprivation and lack of opportunity. Months after her boyfriend is killed during a clash between young people in the village and Halifax constables, she moves with her infant son to Montreal. After attending college as a single mother and ultimately marrying a white man, she discovers that as much as she tries, severing ties to her former village is not easy. 

Kath Ella’s son, Etienne, puts even more distance between himself and the village, first moving across the border to Vermont and then farther south to Alabama, where he passes for white. Etienne’s son, Warner, finds his standing in his all-white community compromised by the sudden revelation that he has black grandparents. As the story comes full circle, Warner travels to Africville to get to know his black relatives. They, however, are suspicious of his motivations.

The family saga unfolds against the backdrop of Africville, based on a real place that has become a symbol not only of Black Canadian identity but also of how the human spirit remains resilient in the face of adversity, tragedy, and change. This beautifully written novel delves into a little-known aspect of the history of enslaved peoples. It will find a place next to other novels about place, such as George and Rue by George Elliot Clarke and The Known World by Edward P. Jones; cross-racial relationships, like Any Known Blood by Lawrence Hill; the multigenerational saga Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi; and the Canadian modern classic The Book of Negroes.

©2019 Jeffrey Colvin (P)2019 HarperAudio

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