Conjure Women, A work of fiction, written by Afia Atakora.
Ms. Atakora has been compared to Toni Morrison by some reviewers. Being that Toni Morrison, who is no longer with us, but forever etched in memory, is one of two of my favorite storytellers, my first thought was that this was not at all possible. After reading Ms. Atakora’s work I will say this. During my lifetime, I have been blessed to have experienced the offerings of some of the most gifted and diverse authors/storytellers. Thank you for sharing this story with us. Thank you for putting in the many hours of research and conducting interviews that were required to masterfully tell the story of Miss May Belle, Rue, Varina and Bean. What a Journey!
Conjur Women travels back and forth in time. It speaks to periods during slavery and post-slavery to vividly describe the lives, desires, dreams and the deepest of secrets surrounding the lives of the plantation’s healer Miss May Belle, her daughter, Rue, who is destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps, and Varina, the daughter of the plantation’s owner, its slaves and all that surrounds it. The supporting characters in this novel are a force to be reckoned with, their roles clearly defined and well played, their personalities, larger than life. The story enters the minds of these women whose very survival depends on their ability to know what needs to be done and doing it.
Ms. Atakora weaves magic, mystery and historical facts to bring us a beautiful work of fiction that is a must-read, sure to leave the reader feeling a wide range of emotions. She gives dignity and grace to those most deserving and shines the brightest light on things known but not often spoken of during a dark time in America’s history.
My favorite chapter is titled SLAVERYTIME 1860.
Only an artist can paint such a picture, only a storyteller can translate the picture into words. Conjure Women is a story of women, that could only be told by a woman. Thank you again Ms. Atakora