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Yonder  By  cover art

Yonder

By: Jabari Asim
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt,Lamarr Gulley,JD Jackson,Adam Lazarre-White,Imani Jade Powers,Janina Edwards
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Publisher's Summary

The Water Dancer meets The Prophets in this spare, gripping, and beautifully rendered novel exploring love and friendship among a group of enslaved Black strivers in the mid-19th century.

They call themselves the Stolen. Their owners call them captives. They are taught their captors’ tongues and their beliefs, but they have a language and rituals all their own.

In a world that would be allegorical if it weren’t saturated in harsh truths, Cato and William meet at Placid Hall, a plantation in an unspecified part of the American South. Subject to the whims of their tyrannical and eccentric captor, Cannonball Greene, they never know what harm may befall them: inhumane physical toil in the plantation’s quarry by day, a beating by night, or the sale of a loved one at any moment. It’s that cruel practice - the wanton destruction of love, the belief that Black people aren’t even capable of loving - that hurts the most.

It hurts the reserved and stubborn William, who finds himself falling for Margaret, a small but mighty woman with self-possession beyond her years. And it hurts Cato, whose first love, Iris, was sold off with no forewarning. He now finds solace in his hearty band of friends, including William, who is like a brother; Margaret; Little Zander; and Milton, a gifted artist. There is also Pandora, with thick braids and long limbs, whose beauty calls to him.

Their relationships begin to fray when a visiting minister with a mysterious past starts to fill their heads with ideas about independence. He tells them that with freedom comes the right to choose the small things - when to dine, when to begin and end work - as well as the big things, such as whom and how to love. Do they follow the preacher and pursue the unknown? Confined in a landscape marked by deceit and uncertainty, who can they trust?

In an elegant work of monumental imagination that will reorient how we think of the legacy of America’s shameful past, Jabari Asim presents a beautiful, powerful, and elegiac novel that examines intimacy and longing in the quarters while asking a vital question: What would happen if an enslaved person risked everything for love?

©2022 Jabari Asim. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Yonder

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Rushed ending

The first 3/4s of this book were excellent. The characters and the story telling were enchanting and rich. That being said, the ending felt rushed and the sci-fi bend was unnecessary and made the story lose it's tension. It reminded me of a movie where too many ideas get thrown in and the main idea gets lost.

15 people found this helpful

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GREAT NARRATION Team! Editing could have been better

FIVE STARS for the acting throughout this wonderfully written book!

Mr Asim REALLY knows how to tell a story, and the actors really brought his words and characters to LIFE! Preacher Ransom’s rousing ceremony scene was a favorite of mine!

The audio seemed wonky at times (a few editing issues perhaps?), but did not detract from the overall experience of the story.

7 people found this helpful

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Great listen

I'd give it 6 stars if i could. Although portions can take your breath its great.

5 people found this helpful

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Powerful story of strength, faith and love

I finished listening to this book a couple of weeks ago and I can’t get it out of my mind. Very moving and beautiful account of enslaved people finding ways to overcome the violence and inhumanity of slavery. Excellent narration.

3 people found this helpful

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Powerful

a raw powerful look at what might have been the reality of life as a plantation slave. but certainly relatable to modern times in that we have seen how commonplace and acceptable cruelty and lack of respect for human life can become

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Hated for it to End!

Beautifully written and performed!!! Rich voices and powerful, poignant storytelling. Couldn't put it down.