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The Hundred Wells of Salaga

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Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that turns her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman. Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father's court. These two women's lives converge as infighting among Wurche's people threatens the region, during the height of the Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that turns her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman. Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father's court. These two women's lives converge as infighting among Wurche's people threatens the region, during the height of the slave trade at the end of the 19th century. Set in pre-colonial Ghana, The Hundred Wells of Salaga is a story of courage, forgiveness, love and freedom. Through the experiences of Aminah and Wurche, it offers a remarkable view of slavery and how the scramble for Africa affected the lives of everyday people.


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Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that turns her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman. Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father's court. These two women's lives converge as infighting among Wurche's people threatens the region, during the height of the Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that turns her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman. Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father's court. These two women's lives converge as infighting among Wurche's people threatens the region, during the height of the slave trade at the end of the 19th century. Set in pre-colonial Ghana, The Hundred Wells of Salaga is a story of courage, forgiveness, love and freedom. Through the experiences of Aminah and Wurche, it offers a remarkable view of slavery and how the scramble for Africa affected the lives of everyday people.

30 review for The Hundred Wells of Salaga

  1. 5 out of 5

    Darkowaa

    !!! full review - https://africanbookaddict.com/2018/09... 4.5 stars, but rounding up to 5 stars. Ayesha H. Attah has grown soooo much as a writer and 'The Hundred Wells of Salaga' is proof of her wonderful growth.... full review on book blog - https://africanbookaddict.com/2018/09...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Reggie

    A 231 page novel that holds enough ambition for a book twice it's size. The story of Wurche (one of the most complex and stellar protagonists I've read in 2018), and Aminah is one that you will remember for the evils that can be inflicted from within a nation, as well as those from an outsider who happens to be playing nice. Ayesha Harruna Attah's backlog is a priority.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Giulia

    TW: abuse, violence, rape, slavery, suicide, racism, slut-shaming Unpopular Opinion Time 🐸☕ Actual rating: 1.5 ⭐ Boy oh boy. Grab some sugar because this Rather Random Review™ is gonna be salty AF and you'll have to balance all this out with some sweetness. For as much as I appreciated the discussion around internal slavery, and I liked the fact that one of the two main characters was bi, I personally thought this book wasn't great. Actually, I really hated this book, if I have to be completely hone TW: abuse, violence, rape, slavery, suicide, racism, slut-shaming Unpopular Opinion Time 🐸☕️ Actual rating: 1.5 ⭐️ Boy oh boy. Grab some sugar because this Rather Random Review™️ is gonna be salty AF and you'll have to balance all this out with some sweetness. For as much as I appreciated the discussion around internal slavery, and I liked the fact that one of the two main characters was bi, I personally thought this book wasn't great. Actually, I really hated this book, if I have to be completely honest. So here I am. Dragging it. Characters and Relationships: So. Aminah and Wurche, eh? Man, these two were the definition of two-dimensional characters. They were childish, their personality was not flashed out and their actions were irrational. I get that they were teens but...I mean, the things they do are always dictated by some "strange force" that pushed them to do something. Bitch, where's the logic in all that? But what's worse is the fact that this "strange force" popped up during the most ridiculous scenarios - not even during the important scenes! For example, at one point, Aminah offers Moro to help him building a new hut and the narration basically goes "I don't know why I did it. A strange force possessed me". Mmmm...dude, you just offered your help, you didn't do anything groundbreaking 🙄 They sounded so childish because of that. Their reasonings were all based on emotions and love and that was just stupid. And as I mentioned love. I mean, there are basically three (if not, arguably, four) love stories in this book and WOULD YOU BELIEVE that all four were based on insta-love?! Because I sure as fuck was not willing to believe my own two eyes. All relationships are based on ONE single look and BOOM, they're in love. Yeah, no. I'm not about that life. There was absolutely no build-up. No tension. No will-they-won't-they. Everything was immediate and hallow. You know what else was hallow? Well, my dear, the two main characters themselves. Yes. Aminah is painfully naive and innocent. In the first chapter is mentioned that she'd love to sell shoes like her father and travel the world but...these interests are mentioned ONCE and then that's it? She has no quirks nor particularities that could strike the readers and make them think "well, Aminah sure is somebody special!" Nope. She's just beautiful. Oh so beautiful. And that's it. Wurche is not innocent either. She keeps on saying that she'd love to be part of the political world but she knows absolutely nothing about anything. Zero, nada, il vuoto più assoluto, rien de rien. All the things she knows and mentions are told by other people and she just parrots them and shows off. She's impulsive and selfish. She does not participate in the world that she'd love to be a part of - the world of politics - and what is worse is that she doesn't even try to be. She just complains that people aren't letting her do the things she wants. Both of them, I couldn't stand for the life of me 😩 All men are trash, tbh. Every single one of them but Dramani. Dramain was a small, innocent child that has to be protected. But that's it. Also the familiar bounds were lacking. During the first chapters it feels like Aminah's family is incredibly important to her but the more the story goes forward, the more they become irrelevant and forgotten. Also, the story of the twins, the father and the mothers were too easily tied up with unsatisfactory and unclear endings that just left a bad taste in my mouth. The plot and writing style: Nothing much to say about these two aspects apart from the fact that I was not a fan. The writing style felt completely disjointed and sometimes there were some immense gaps between two paragraphs that just didn't make sense. Or, even worse, you were happily reading about something, then OUT OF THE BLUE, another topic/scene/thought would pop up for three lines, and then BAM, back where we were before. For example, there's a scene in which Aminah is cooking and describing the food and then BAM, random thought about the caravans and then BAM, back to the cooking. It was just confusing and made the story not flow effortlessly. Quite the opposite. Keeping things straight was a challenge. And that's also because the writing style was too heavy on the descriptions. It felt like it was trying to be poetic and whimsical, but failed miserably. The plot itself was also just a hot mess. And that's because there are too many important topics that the author wanted to tackle. The final result is that nothing is approached or analysed properly and everything fell short. It wanted to be a feminist book - through the characters of Aminah and Wurche and their (non existent) friendship - but it didn't deliver because the characters themselves were not feminists and didn't interact with each other not even for the lols. It wanted to be a book about war and politics but it didn't deliver because these two topics were just barely mentioned and tackled. It wanted to be a comment about slavery and how bad that is but it didn't deliver because it didn't bring anything new to the discussion. It wanted to be a book about friendship and family but it didn't deliver because both were easily forgotten and brushed aside. Basically, this book wanted to be lots of things, but got to be none. And the ending felt ridiculously rushed and just underwhelming. I am sorry if this is your favourite book and I dragged it through the mud and back. But I honestly really hated it. Appreciated the African setting, but that was literally the only thing I liked.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charlott

    The Hundred Wells of Salaga is the story of Arminah and Wurche, two young women who grow up in vastly different circumstances in West Africa in the late 19th century and whose paths cross. The novel, which tackles topics such as slavery and politics in a way which is rarely covered, is beautifully written. Attah's language is ripe with metaphors and pictures and at the same time, she understands to tell a page-turner story. My only gripe with the book (something I rarely wish for): The book coul The Hundred Wells of Salaga is the story of Arminah and Wurche, two young women who grow up in vastly different circumstances in West Africa in the late 19th century and whose paths cross. The novel, which tackles topics such as slavery and politics in a way which is rarely covered, is beautifully written. Attah's language is ripe with metaphors and pictures and at the same time, she understands to tell a page-turner story. My only gripe with the book (something I rarely wish for): The book could have been 50-100 pages longer. Arminah and Wurche only meet quite late in the book and I would have loved to spend more time with them together. But all in all, I really liked this book. Some consider the following a spoiler, I do not, but be warned: Funnily enough, I first planned to push this book to July to finish some of the #pridemonth "appropriate" reads, but then I could not ignore the call. And surprise: Wurche is not only a very captivating character in general but she actually is also a queer character who desires women and men (it is a theme throughout the book but nothing really in the focus or overtly plot-relevant).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I appreciated Attah’s novel for its period details on the lives of the Gonja and Hausa tribes: descriptions of maasa and tuo, design of household spaces, influence of Islam, and inter-tribal politics. This is not a culture / time / place you get many chances to read about! But then... the majority of characters fell flat. Even one of Attah’s protagonists changes little over the course of the story, driven headlong by her own desires into scandal after disaster with little to no personal reflecti I appreciated Attah’s novel for its period details on the lives of the Gonja and Hausa tribes: descriptions of maasa and tuo, design of household spaces, influence of Islam, and inter-tribal politics. This is not a culture / time / place you get many chances to read about! But then... the majority of characters fell flat. Even one of Attah’s protagonists changes little over the course of the story, driven headlong by her own desires into scandal after disaster with little to no personal reflection achieved by the end. The male hero is a supposedly angel-hearted slave driver. Wurche, her brother, the random German soldier buddy all deliver highly progressive reflections on their roles amidst Ghana’s colonization / as men & women in traditional societies, which are too straightforward to be seen as truly coming from the characters. Aminah was best-rendered, but her “destiny” turns out cliche and unsatisfying. The title doesn’t even have broader significance! This book was an interesting read, but I can’t say I’d recommend this story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    this was a 3.5 read for me thoughts coming shortly

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zsofi

    This is a story of two young women coming form very different lives set in pre-colonial Ghana. Aminah is taken from her home and forced to slavery. Once a daydreamer, she becomes a resilient woman after all the hardships she has to endure. Slavery brings her to Wurche, a headstrong and independent princess, who wants to make a difference in her father’s court. I found it fascinating to learn a little about the conflicts between different tribes, and western influence in Ghana. The story is intere This is a story of two young women coming form very different lives set in pre-colonial Ghana. Aminah is taken from her home and forced to slavery. Once a daydreamer, she becomes a resilient woman after all the hardships she has to endure. Slavery brings her to Wurche, a headstrong and independent princess, who wants to make a difference in her father’s court. I found it fascinating to learn a little about the conflicts between different tribes, and western influence in Ghana. The story is interesting, but is seems flat a lot of times. There is not much character development, the friendship of the two women is not portrayed enough, and the characters besides the women are flat. It has the potential of a longer book, it ends abruptly in a cliche. Overall it is and interesting albeit sad story, that is enjoyable, but has the potential to be better.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    Giving up fifty pages in. Interesting topic, Lots of information, but the writing is weak.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anja

    I really loved how visual the writing is. It was more like watching a movie than reading a book. An enjoyable read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    I enjoyed this book as a portrait of the time in which it's set. Hundred Wells is set in what today we call Ghana in the 1890s century, when slavery was ostensibly illegal but still thriving, and while the European powers were still testing the waters of colonialism. The book doesn't have much in the way of a conventional plot though; it's more of a slice of life. Far more happens to the main characters than because of them. While historically accurate, it doesn't make for a satisfying story. St I enjoyed this book as a portrait of the time in which it's set. Hundred Wells is set in what today we call Ghana in the 1890s century, when slavery was ostensibly illegal but still thriving, and while the European powers were still testing the waters of colonialism. The book doesn't have much in the way of a conventional plot though; it's more of a slice of life. Far more happens to the main characters than because of them. While historically accurate, it doesn't make for a satisfying story. Still, I enjoyed reading about west Africa through the eyes of west Africans. Attah and her characters describe proto-Ghana in vivid terms without exoticizing them. The first half of the book in particular is filled with descriptions of food, fashion, and practices, but it's done in terms that feel authentic, that a local would use for familiar things. This is the someone living in her culture and appreciating its charms, not a show put on for tourists like me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Beautifully rendered story about Werche and Aminah, 2 girls whose lives intersect in pre-colonial Ghana. Attah tells a story of two girls caught in the history of inter-contential slavery in Africa. Inspired by the story of Attah's grandmother, she uses research to vividly paint the lives of the characters. Food is central to the lives of families.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amyn Bawa-allah

    Wow. This a really interesting piece of fiction. Highly recommended.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    Good That was a great story I would have loved to see a finish to Aminah and Moro's story. Thank you for a beautiful story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aisha

    The Hundred Wells of Salaga, a novel that got its name from the Wells present in pre-1892 Salaga, sets around the stories of Aminah and Wurche. Aminah, reserved and simple, was kidnapped from Botu and forced into internal slavery. The reins of slavery brought her to Wurche, the rebellious princes with royal troubles of her own. . . Amidst all these, the quest for power, both from the local chiefs and the foreign powers, fueled various events that destroyed towns (especially Salaga) and strengthened The Hundred Wells of Salaga, a novel that got its name from the Wells present in pre-1892 Salaga, sets around the stories of Aminah and Wurche. Aminah, reserved and simple, was kidnapped from Botu and forced into internal slavery. The reins of slavery brought her to Wurche, the rebellious princes with royal troubles of her own. . . Amidst all these, the quest for power, both from the local chiefs and the foreign powers, fueled various events that destroyed towns (especially Salaga) and strengthened these women’s friendship (although I don’t think the story portrayed enough depth to the friendship🌚) . . I love how the multiple themes come together to illuminate the whole story. Internal slavery, the troubles (and pleasures) of being a royalty, friendship, rebellion, sexual assault, religion, the quest for power, colonialism, interracial coupling even sexuality and domestic violence; all these form the thread that binds the story together. . . I think the book is sad 😞 but I enjoyed reading the story and award it 4 Stars (the characters, especially Aminah, are well developed). If you like me, haven’t read much about internal slavery, this is a good fictional reference to start with. . . #QOTD: “ The Clan That is great in number is also great in strength.” Gurma Proverb

  15. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    The story follows two female protagonists Aminah and Wurche. Aminah is a commoner and Wurche a royal princess. The story starts with Aminah and her family. At first, all is well with Aminah's family until the disappearance of her father. This is the harbinger that announces the disintegration of her family. One evening, her family is brutally torn apart when slave raiders attack their hometown Botu and Aminah is sold into slavery to Wofa Sarpong and then finally to Wurche. Wurche is the free-spir The story follows two female protagonists Aminah and Wurche. Aminah is a commoner and Wurche a royal princess. The story starts with Aminah and her family. At first, all is well with Aminah's family until the disappearance of her father. This is the harbinger that announces the disintegration of her family. One evening, her family is brutally torn apart when slave raiders attack their hometown Botu and Aminah is sold into slavery to Wofa Sarpong and then finally to Wurche. Wurche is the free-spirited princess whose only interest is politics and riding her horse Baki. However, her father has ambitious plans to become one of the stronger leaders of the slave market city of Salaga. He arranges a marriage for Wurche with a neighbouring king to reinforce his army. Wurche is not happy about the marriage but decides to do it in exchange for her to be involved in the political affairs of Salaga. This does not happen as she is now under the control of her new husband. In her pursuit for recognition from her father as an equal, she meets Aminah who is being sold and decides to buy her - a thing she has never done before. The story follows the journeys of the two different women to the fall of the city of Salaga. That's it! A lot could have been done for this book. Other magnifying on the internal slave trade - it lacked substance.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bob Conklin

    Ayesha Harruna Attah’s novel provides a unique insight into the slave trade conducted in the region that was to become Ghana on Africa’s Gold Coast. Her lyrical prose immerses the reader in domestic scenes of daily life interspersed with brutal episodes of human trafficking. Yet the novel remains tender and humane in its rendition of the suffering and indignities imposed by slavery as practiced in African communities in conjunction with intertribal power moves and warfare. There are no absolute Ayesha Harruna Attah’s novel provides a unique insight into the slave trade conducted in the region that was to become Ghana on Africa’s Gold Coast. Her lyrical prose immerses the reader in domestic scenes of daily life interspersed with brutal episodes of human trafficking. Yet the novel remains tender and humane in its rendition of the suffering and indignities imposed by slavery as practiced in African communities in conjunction with intertribal power moves and warfare. There are no absolute villains here, only flawed yet determined characters conditioned by their cultural reference points to act as they do. What surprised me was that the Middle Passage of slaves across the “big water” of the Atlantic continued well past its supposed British-U.S. ban in 1807 almost to the end of the nineteenth century, when the novel takes place. Attah sets events in a narrow window of history, between the dying practices of the past and the modern period of colonial occupation, as Germany and England vie for control of the region. In this sense, the novel is indeed an eye-opener for the average reader harboring a limited Western point of view. Attah helps the reader appreciate the internal struggles within this part of Africa from the very personal perspective of her two young female protagonists. Aminah is a member of a small inland village that depends on migrating Islamic caravans to make pit stops for its trade and livelihood. In her village, they worship an African god, Otienu, depending on him for guidance and favoritism. Wurche, on the other hand, is a young African Muslim woman who lives in a settlement nearer the Atlantic coast, its wealth bolstered by the slave trade. With arranged marriages on the horizon for each, the two become virtual mirror images, as Attah skillfully alternates their points of view, leading the reader to suspect it is only a matter of time before their life stories intersect. An ingenious plot device draws them together in the character of Moro, a slave raider and trader. Both young women are in love with him, but for different reasons and in vastly different circumstances. Ironic then that the title refers to wells that provide sustenance but also signify a dubious form of acquisitiveness. Aminah is amazed and envious of the wealth of Wurche’s people evidenced by a well in every compound, so one does not have to travel far to fetch water. But then she learns from Wurche that the real reason there are so many wells is to wash the bodies of slaves after long journeys: “a town created to sell human beings,” Aminah realizes. Thus, the theme of independence versus enslavement is underscored. With all of the political and economic struggles taking place, the novel brews a bubbling, seething atmosphere that is constantly in flux. Grandmothers of both clans attempt to impart wisdom as respected elders, but it’s clear nothing in their experience can help steer a course through the present turmoil taking place with the German and British “Struggle for Africa” resulting in various alliances that shift and shimmy like sand through one’s fingers. Nothing is truly stable, except the resolve of each young woman to create their lives anew after the most trying and often terrifying circumstances.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carolyne Gathuru

    The two women in this book Aminah and Wurche and their happenstance meeting and connecting and finally disconnecting over the man for whom they both had their hearts wrapped around - Moro - seems forced. How? How is it that this very same man is the one that ties the bits together to bring these women together? Really? The story though brings out the gender differentiation through early Ghana (which pretty much would reflect the African situation) vide the stories of both Aminah and Wurche's relat The two women in this book Aminah and Wurche and their happenstance meeting and connecting and finally disconnecting over the man for whom they both had their hearts wrapped around - Moro - seems forced. How? How is it that this very same man is the one that ties the bits together to bring these women together? Really? The story though brings out the gender differentiation through early Ghana (which pretty much would reflect the African situation) vide the stories of both Aminah and Wurche's relationships with the men in their lives - their fathers, brothers, lovers, husbands, slavers, men in the community, male children. Very interesting dynamics at play bringing out the role and positioning of men and the adaptation of the girl child/women in those environments. Different communities/tribes, same difference. Different religious orientation ( The Otienu/Allah factor) same difference. The story was lefting hanging in two places - Aminah's father and Wurche's daughter...... Was the author also trying to bring out lesbianism as a theme through Wurche's idolisation of her relationship with Fatima and further reference to it in sporadic places through the book? This wasn't clear or maybe it wasn't meant to be? Some enlightenment on the history of the European Occupation of Ghana does come through, to give credit where it is due.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    There’s a quiet quality to this novel which defies the often brutal world of internecine conflict where the characters live. It is this quiet, determined voice which gives life and strength to the story, centering on two women from different backgrounds and social status in pre-colonial Ghana during the late 1800s. Author Attah focuses on the internal African slave trade which fed the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but was also a widespread practice among warring families vying for power in West A There’s a quiet quality to this novel which defies the often brutal world of internecine conflict where the characters live. It is this quiet, determined voice which gives life and strength to the story, centering on two women from different backgrounds and social status in pre-colonial Ghana during the late 1800s. Author Attah focuses on the internal African slave trade which fed the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but was also a widespread practice among warring families vying for power in West Africa. Aminah is a teenager from a small village who is taken as a slave and, after two years as a slave for a farmer, ends up being bought by Wurche, a determined woman who is part of the ruling royalty. Their relationship is one of pushes and pulls as war defines their landscape and the Europeans enter the mix seeking allegiances and alliances with disputing leaders. This is the kind of novel I love to read, bringing its readers to a place where history shows the complexity of the good, the bad, and the ugly, yet shines with the best of humanity.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zaina Mbaruku

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The story centers around two women Aminah and Wurche both born into very different circumstances. Wurche of royal blood and Aminah normal and then captured into slavery. Their destinies later collide. At first the book begins quite slow for me and I questioned as to whether I should continue reading but I pushed on and the further I went the more of a page turner it became. Unputdownable they say. I was especially intrigued by Aminah not sure why perhaps because I was supporting her to speak up The story centers around two women Aminah and Wurche both born into very different circumstances. Wurche of royal blood and Aminah normal and then captured into slavery. Their destinies later collide. At first the book begins quite slow for me and I questioned as to whether I should continue reading but I pushed on and the further I went the more of a page turner it became. Unputdownable they say. I was especially intrigued by Aminah not sure why perhaps because I was supporting her to speak up which she didn’t until later but her circumstances were tough and very sad. For Wurche who grew up rather confident and only to be reminded of her place as a woman couldn’t have been easy either! All in all so many themes are presented in this 📚. Overall I loved it but I really wanted to know what happens to the characters. Does Aminah make it to Moro? What happens to Wurche? Does she take over for her people? I want to know !!!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shukra Abayomi

    There are so many things I did not like about this book. After I finished reading it, I read reviews to help me understand what I felt about it. I found a lot of reviews that described what the 'problems' were. i would like to describe some of the things I liked. the book helped me to improve my knowledge of the internal organization of Ghana, the cities and towns, tribes, ethnicity and language. I was seriously lacking in that department the writing: the author is a good storyteller. at every poi There are so many things I did not like about this book. After I finished reading it, I read reviews to help me understand what I felt about it. I found a lot of reviews that described what the 'problems' were. i would like to describe some of the things I liked. the book helped me to improve my knowledge of the internal organization of Ghana, the cities and towns, tribes, ethnicity and language. I was seriously lacking in that department the writing: the author is a good storyteller. at every point, I wanted to know what happened next, what happened to Wurche and what happened to Aminah. it did get a bit distracting in between sometimes, but it reads well, very well. (I went back several times to reread some paragraphs because the visual picture painted was so vivid and I wanted to experience it again) I might have scored myself a new nickname 'Wurche' which is the Gonja word for Queen, I believe.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Slavery in Africa, after slavery in the UK and the US ended, as experienced by a (female) slave owner and her (female) slave. All while British, French and German invader-occupiers wrangle for control via buying/bullying local royalty. Yet Attah's gaze here is more focused on the human stories of these two women, their families, loves an lovers, treating the politics and the morality of it all almost lightly, if not peripherally. What emerges are stories of two strong, strong-willed survivors, ma Slavery in Africa, after slavery in the UK and the US ended, as experienced by a (female) slave owner and her (female) slave. All while British, French and German invader-occupiers wrangle for control via buying/bullying local royalty. Yet Attah's gaze here is more focused on the human stories of these two women, their families, loves an lovers, treating the politics and the morality of it all almost lightly, if not peripherally. What emerges are stories of two strong, strong-willed survivors, making the best of a devastating set of circumstances, even if one of them is, ostensibly, royalty herself. The stories are interesting and touching, to sure, if not quite essential.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cookielover

    This is a very unique novel; it tells the story of two women of a different African tribe and how their lives are effected by the precolonial slave trade as well as the infighting in the different tribes. Not only do they face trials on that front but also because they are women. The author had a difficult task in writing this book, but she accomplishes it flawlessly. The characters are dynamic, the history is not patronizing, the plot is engaging. I would have liked more time to be more attached This is a very unique novel; it tells the story of two women of a different African tribe and how their lives are effected by the precolonial slave trade as well as the infighting in the different tribes. Not only do they face trials on that front but also because they are women. The author had a difficult task in writing this book, but she accomplishes it flawlessly. The characters are dynamic, the history is not patronizing, the plot is engaging. I would have liked more time to be more attached to the characters, but overall, this was a very moving tale that I recommend to all. Too often we are forced to look at Africa through a colonizer’s eyes. Even still, this is just a good book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Boz

    I was able to read “The Hundred Wells of Salaga” by Ayesha Harruna Attah, which is out February 5 (thank you @otherpress for the free review copy) towards the end of my 2.5 week trip to Ghana. Told from the perspectives of two young girls living in 19th century Ghana- one, the daughter of a chief; the other lived a simple life before forced into internal slavery in Ghana, this book highlights the strength and resilence of young women whose lives unexpectedly cross during a monumental change in A I was able to read “The Hundred Wells of Salaga” by Ayesha Harruna Attah, which is out February 5 (thank you @otherpress for the free review copy) towards the end of my 2.5 week trip to Ghana. Told from the perspectives of two young girls living in 19th century Ghana- one, the daughter of a chief; the other lived a simple life before forced into internal slavery in Ghana, this book highlights the strength and resilence of young women whose lives unexpectedly cross during a monumental change in African history. This.book.is.OUTSTANDING. It’s only 230 pages and somehow Attah finds a way to expertly explore topics of love, resilience, violence, sexuality, family, forgiveness, and more. I can’t remember the last time I read a book that stayed with me the way this book had days after reading it. I really can’t recommend it enough.

  24. 5 out of 5

    iralight

    I started to read this book with no expectations but I could not put it down. I love how poignantly it describes cultures so far away and unfamiliar to me. I love how much time the author spends building multi-dimensional characters. I love how, when describing unpleasant or horrific situations the book does not try to fixate on the horrible. The writer hints enough about the atrocity being done but not so much that you want to stop reading, petrified. Aminah and Wurche are both beautiful charac I started to read this book with no expectations but I could not put it down. I love how poignantly it describes cultures so far away and unfamiliar to me. I love how much time the author spends building multi-dimensional characters. I love how, when describing unpleasant or horrific situations the book does not try to fixate on the horrible. The writer hints enough about the atrocity being done but not so much that you want to stop reading, petrified. Aminah and Wurche are both beautiful characters, beautifully described. I want to thank the writer for this hopeful, poignant, enduring book. Looking forward to more!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shruti Shah

    The book is well written and has a very interesting plot. It took me to a new place (Ghana) and time (1892) where I had little idea of what was going on in that country. The characters were interesting and I wanted to get to know them deeper. Wurche and Aminah and the story of slavery in Africa. The first half was worth the read with build up of the two women. But the second half disappointed me. I expected things to build up more and there was enough to take it once they were together but, ther The book is well written and has a very interesting plot. It took me to a new place (Ghana) and time (1892) where I had little idea of what was going on in that country. The characters were interesting and I wanted to get to know them deeper. Wurche and Aminah and the story of slavery in Africa. The first half was worth the read with build up of the two women. But the second half disappointed me. I expected things to build up more and there was enough to take it once they were together but, there was no chemistry. Also, other main characters felt hollow and very one sided. I didn’t get what motivated them or few critical moments in the novel. Enjoyed the simple writing and the story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kala (ReaderthenBlogger)

    I can definitely say that this will probably be in my top reads for 2019. I have not read many stories that take place in precolonial Africa but the few I have read like this one have captivated me. This story follows two girls, Aminah and Wurche. Each of them have a different, yet similar background. Tragedy brings their parallel stories together. Attah’s writing and descriptions of the cultures and lives of the girls and what they experience, to life. This novel is less than 300 pages but pack I can definitely say that this will probably be in my top reads for 2019. I have not read many stories that take place in precolonial Africa but the few I have read like this one have captivated me. This story follows two girls, Aminah and Wurche. Each of them have a different, yet similar background. Tragedy brings their parallel stories together. Attah’s writing and descriptions of the cultures and lives of the girls and what they experience, to life. This novel is less than 300 pages but packs a punch. Rating: 4.5 Stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Technically very good, well written, fleshed out characters, nuanced and sensitive handling of slavery, sexual assault and rape, and other issues including the complex relationship between Ghana and various European countries in the 1800's. But for some reason the story never really resonated with me. I never connected with any of the characters or felt anything while reading the book. I have no idea why. These kinds of stories usually make me feel what the characters feel.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anne Goodwin

    The women’s trajectories coincide when Wurche, disconcerted by her lover’s apparent interest in the slave girl, buys Aminah to take care of her young son. Now treated well, Aminah is torn between her affection for the child and her desire for freedom. As war cuts through the region, and Salaga itself begins to crumble, along with the trade in which it is based, both women must also grapple with their attraction to men whose roles in the business they cannot condone. Full review Slavery: The Hundr The women’s trajectories coincide when Wurche, disconcerted by her lover’s apparent interest in the slave girl, buys Aminah to take care of her young son. Now treated well, Aminah is torn between her affection for the child and her desire for freedom. As war cuts through the region, and Salaga itself begins to crumble, along with the trade in which it is based, both women must also grapple with their attraction to men whose roles in the business they cannot condone. Full review Slavery: The Hundred Wells of Salaga & The Sealwoman’s Gift http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/1/post/...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Two unalike women brought together by the inter-African slave trade. One is a wealthy tribal princess, strong-willed and eager to be involved with her father's rule, rather than fulfil a female role. The other is content and dreaming through her close-knit family village life, until her village is raided by slave traders and her family split up or killed. The characters are rounded, none are completely good or evil. Well worth reading more by this author.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Darcy Lewis

    I'm interested in Africa in its early colonial period, so this book's premise of twin female-focused narratives drew me in. Both main characters ultimately fell flat for me and the male characters were similarly undeveloped. But I suspect the author is developing her skills, so I'll keep an eye out for future books from her.

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