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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

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

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  • phillip
  • toronto, ON, Canada
  • 02-23-12

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

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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It kept my attention to see how it would turn out.

As a rule, I never pick autobiographies to read, but I actually ended up liking the book and wanting to see what would happen next.

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Too much of a culture shock to me

I understand that culturally, Peggy had to trust her elders again and again but I could not take the idea that she would allow herself to be bilked time and time again. I didn't/couldn't/won't finish the book though I am certain that King Peggy is a charming woman whose company I would enjoy over a shared libations.

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Interesting story that combines history to the present

I would recommend this books to anyone they is curious about how ancient African culture and modern Christianity can co-exist. I was engaged through the out the story.

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Quite entertaining and informative

Higher than my expectations! Love the stories about women ruling man! If you love Ghana you will love this book! :-)

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Enjoyable

A true story about a woman who becomes a king in Africa. Really enjoyable! I highly recommend it to you.

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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. <br/>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

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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!