I’m not apologizing for the how long it’s been since my last post. A lot has happened in 1 year. My life has shifted, and I found peace. Let’s just say, I have been have blessed with the opportunity to let go of toxic attitudes, situations, and people. It was not easy. I needed to take time from this to focus on that, so that I could be better when I came back to this. I heard about this novel Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson. I noticed that people were becoming overwhelmingly emotional. Not in a typical “I love this book” type of way, but with grave conviction.
Pheby was born a slave and lived in Charles City, Virginia. She was a traditional healer and seamstress by trade. I would say that Yellow Wife is a love story, but it is complicated. She loves Essex, who decides to run away to the north. He asks her to come with him, but she stays. Consequently, her evil mistress sells her to Rubin Lapier. Lapier is a twisted, cruel jailer. His home is so pungent with evil it is called the Devil’s Half Acre. However, he is madly in love with Pheby. Within weeks of Pheby arriving to Lapier’s plantation, Pheby discovers she is pregnant with Essex’s child. In an effort to protect her son, Pheby agrees to become Lapier’s mistress or his “yellow wife”. This story is about Pheby’s burdened life with Lapier and how she fights to protect those she truly loves.
The reality of the slave experience is vividly raw. Johnson does not spare the truth. It is painfully honest. I understand why this novel compels you to cry, because I WEPT.I cried over the ugly reality of Pheby’s relationship and all that she had to compromise. The imagery made me emotional. Johnson clearly reveals how disgustingly repulsive Rubin Lapier is. I was horrified to read about Lapeir’s twisted evening affair that included music, fine dining followed by a public slave whipping. Yellow Wife is a powerful read, but I wouldn’t just recommend this. Emotionally, you must be brave enough to face the truths about American History.
Read this story. Read it because it’s the truth. However, understand that this novel is powerful. If you feel something, let it remind you that you, have a heart. If you read something that hurts you, let that hurt remind you that you care. Let the pain of this novel remind you that you are human and that the American system of slavery was inhumane.
author: Sedeqa Johnson
publisher :Simon and Schuster
year :December 2021