BookView Review:Elisabeth Samson, Forbidden Bride by Carolyn V. Hamilton Proctor

BookView Review rated it:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Pub date June 6, 2020

ISBN 978-1733720946

Price $17.95 (USD) Paperback, $4.15 Kindle edition

Author interview

This poignant and powerful tale by Proctor takes readers on a young Black woman’s journey to obtain legal permission from the reigning Dutch government to marry a White military man—during one of the stormiest times in the history of Suriname in the 18th century South America. Elisabeth Samson, a free affluent Black woman and slave owner, has accumulated plenty of wealth, and her only desire is to marry Carl Otto, a Dutch military officer. But Dutch law doesn’t allow that. Elisabeth knows what she wants and to get that she’s ready to go to any length. Proctor threads significant bits of Suriname history throughout the narrative, using the story of Elisabeth as a free negress while exploring the Black slave population’s struggles with prejudices, class disparity, and atrocities. Writing with insight and perception, Proctor brings her protagonist to life while a colorful cast, poignant emotions, violence, bloodshed, and the historical events that shaped the people and the area are incorporated skillfully into the affecting narrative. At once a vivid evocation of 18th-century Black experience and a moving portrait of an individual’s inner struggle, the novel makes for a page-turner. Lovers of well-researched, engrossing historical fiction will want to take a look.

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