Stirring, dreamy, and compelling… Thoroughly addictive.
Spurgeon transports readers to 1800s wartime South in this layered and engrossing historical. When the wealthy plantation owner Albert Toussaint bought the young and beautiful Dinah along with four other slaves, he had no idea his life was about to take an unexpected turn. A forbidden romance between the pair brings Coco into the world. As daughter of a Black slave and a White plantation owner, Coco struggles to find her own place in the wartime South, unaware destiny has bigger plans for her. In addition to spotlighting the masses’ attitudes toward gender and racial and class inequality, Spurgeon injects plenty of credible period details, including life on plantations, the savagery and injustice faced by slaves, the historical events such as seizing of Fort Sumter in South Carolina while depicting the cruelties of war against the unsettling backdrop of discontent. The story, told over the span of many years, capably interweaves the characters’ dilemmas and runs at a brisk pace, owing to the assured, intelligent prose. Most importantly, Spurgeon excels at creating multilayered, sympathetic characters: she aptly captures Dinah’s voice as a conflicted, discontenting young woman, making her uncertainty comprehensible and charming. Her portrayal of Albert’s efforts to cope with marital stagnation and tormented feelings for Dinah is equally convincing. Coco’s feelings of alienation and her struggles with her identity in the face of her mixed heritage will resonate with many readers. This emotionally rich novel, full of both sizzling descriptions of life in the summer-scorched cane fields of Louisiana and horrors of slavery, is sure to win a vast array of historical fiction fans.
A Girl Named Coco
By Jennifer Spurgeon
Pub date June 24, 2021