An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody

· Common Folk Press
1 review

About this ebook


An epic American Civil War literary saga that explores the intimate relationships between folk of diverse cultures during an era of suffering and hate; spanning cultures, continents, and generations. 

Shay is an orphan. A young Asian boy with no link to his past – except for a mysterious jade amulet – and no idea what fate has in store for his future. Not until an American merchant captain raises him to be a man, who becomes a valiant Union Army scout during the height of the American Civil War. 

Across the oceans, a young girl is ripped from her homeland and tossed aboard a ship set sail for America. She is sold to an Alabama plantation like livestock; her name, her identity, and her life stripped from her. Now, she is considered nothing more than a slave. 

When their two paths cross ten years later, they immediately intertwine, driven by a connection so strong it could only be forged by destiny. But love is forbidden, and darkness surrounds them. Written in the Antebellum tradition with spoken dialects characteristic of the period, the reader is invited to view the perspectives of each character and the decisions they make, leading to life, love or loss.

1 review
December 1, 2020
I received a free electronic ARC of this historical novel from BookSIRENS and author CJ Heigelmann. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am grateful to be exposed to the works of C.J. Heigelmann. He is going on my must-follow list of amazing authors who can take you to the heart of their stories. And this one is full of heart. We meet young Shu-Shay in the early 1840s port city of Canton about 10 miles from Mainland China where he watches his mother pass away, and is fortunately taken aboard ship by Captain Price more out of sympathy than because the crew had any misunderstandings about having this scrawny youngster take over the work of one of their three missing sailors. With a typhoon coming, they have to get to sea ASAP. As Captain Caleb Price is making his final run before retirement he wants everything to fall into line for a pleasant voyage but things have a way of foiling the best-laid plans. We watch as, that same year in Nigeria, slave traders clear out the residents of the Yoruba village of Osugun and drive those villagers who were home to the coast and onto the deadly slave ships, packed into the holds with so many persons that sitting down was not possible is ten-year-old Chimanda, separated from her younger brother Soja, and though she knows her mother Ugonna is on the ship, she is nowhere near Chimanda in the hold. Up to 30% of the prisoners will not make the trip alive, and Ugonna does not survive the month's long journey to America. Chimanda was not able to find any of the friends she knew in Yoruba, or any of their family once they reach port in Charlotte, NC. She is all alone in this new world. We then meet the family Walter in Alabama. Daughter Emily is spoiled and special to her father Colonel Walter, and she will miss him on his trip to Charlotte to attend the slave auction. While there he buys Chimanda to be a companion to his daughter Emily. As these stories all come together, we have a tale that is both heartbreaking and warmly fulfilled. This is a book I can highly recommend to friends and family, one that I will want to read again.
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About the author

 Author C.J. Heigelmann is a writer and multi-genre novelist of Contemporary, Literary and Historical fiction. Heigelmann's style of writing is marked by cultural and social diversity and inclusion. His focus on perspective and realism separates him from other mainstream contemporary authors.

Comparable authors: Charles Martin, Robert Whitlow, Denise Hildreth Jones, Therese Anne Fowler.

"I express my characters in their pure flawed form because all of us are flawed. I don't shrink from using stereotypes whether positive or negative. Instead, I promote them and in the next breath completely shatter them. This exposes the error of subjugating individuals to intellectually lazy social labels, compelling the reader to confront the empirical nature of a character while lending insight into true understanding. I write to expand the perception of one's self, the human family, and the world around us."

C.J. Heigelmann

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