Conjure Women [electronic resource] / Afia Atakora

Item request has been placed! ×
Item request cannot be made. ×
loading   Processing Request
  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: A mother and daughter with a shared talent for healing—and for the conjuring of curses—are at the heart of this dazzling first novel "Lush, irresistible . . . It took me into the hearts of women I could otherwise never know. I was transported."—Amy Bloom, New York Times bestselling author of White Houses and Away Conjure Women is a sweeping story that brings the world of the South before and after the Civil War vividly to life. Spanning eras and generations, it tells of the lives of three unforgettable women: Miss May Belle, a wise healing woman; her precocious and observant daughter Rue, who is reluctant to follow in her mother's footsteps as a midwife; and their master's daughter Varina. The secrets and bonds among these women and their community come to a head at the beginning of a war and at the birth of an accursed child, who sets the townspeople alight with fear and a spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous freedom. Magnificently written, brilliantly researched, richly imagined, Conjure Women moves back and forth in time to tell the haunting story of Rue, Varina, and May Belle, their passions and friendships, and the lengths they will go to save themselves and those they love.
    • Notes:
      Adobe EPUB eBook ebook-epub-adobe 2220930
      Kindle Book ebook-kindle
      OverDrive Read ebook-overdrive
    • ISBN:
      9780525511496
    • Accession Number:
      fay.696069
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      ATAKORA, A. Conjure Women. [electronic resource]. [s. l.]: Random House Publishing Group, 2020. ISBN 9780525511496. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.696069. Acesso em: 4 jul. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Atakora A. Conjure Women. [Electronic Resource]. Random House Publishing Group; 2020. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.696069. Accessed July 4, 2020.
    • AMA11:
      Atakora A. Conjure Women. [Electronic Resource]. Random House Publishing Group; 2020. Accessed July 4, 2020. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.696069
    • APA:
      Atakora, A. (2020). Conjure Women. [electronic resource]. Random House Publishing Group.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Atakora, Afia. 2020. Conjure Women. [Electronic Resource]. Random House Publishing Group. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.696069.
    • Harvard:
      Atakora, A. (2020) Conjure Women. [electronic resource]. Random House Publishing Group. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.696069 (Accessed: 4 July 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Atakora, A 2020, Conjure Women. [electronic resource], Random House Publishing Group, viewed 4 July 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Atakora, Afia. Conjure Women. [Electronic Resource]. Random House Publishing Group, 2020. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.696069.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Atakora, Afia. Conjure Women. [Electronic Resource]. Random House Publishing Group, 2020. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.696069.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Atakora A. Conjure Women. [electronic resource] [Internet]. Random House Publishing Group; 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 4]. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.696069

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2020 February #1

Rue is among other formerly enslaved people who are learning to balance the choices of true freedom, post–Civil War. They remain on their plantation with no master, and a burned-down big house. Rue inherits the calling of being a midwife and a healer, taught to her by her beloved mother, May Belle. Atakora's debut floats between Rue's freedom time and her slavery time, revealing Rue's reminiscences of her mother's last days, her friendship with the master's daughter, and all the secrets she learned and developed before the war. The community's faith in Rue and her conjure practices are challenged when a preacher converts them all before a deadly sickness sweeps through the children on the plantation. Atakora skillfully intertwines the details of both time periods, which helps shape a delicate picture of Rue. The reader understands the power of her magic juxtaposed with her desire for love, family, and a sense of normalcy. Although Rue may make unethical decisions, readers root for her to protect the secrets that shield the rest of the community from further hardship. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2019 October

Around the time of the Civil War, Rue lives with her mother on the plantation of Marse Charles, where they both act as midwives, healers, and conjurers of curses. Rue, too, knows secrets about the plantation owner's daughter that she shares with stories about other families she tends. From a Pushcart nominee and finalist for the Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers.

Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

LJ Reviews 2019 December

DEBUT Deftly interwoven and emotionally involving, Atakora's accomplished debut moves among several eras. There's slaverytime, when Miss May Belle serves as both healer and conjurer of curses on the plantation of Marse Charles as she teaches daughter Rue her ways. There's wartime, when Union soldiers march in and Varina, the hapless but demanding daughter of the master and a childhood playmate to Rue, suffers multiple losses. And there's freedomtime, when Miss Rue, now midwife/healer to the old plantation's community of freedmen, is suspected of witchcraft, though she says she's "just a woman who knows some things." Rue feels an uncanny affinity for a difficult baby she has delivered, a baby that could be her punishment or her salvation if only she plans things correctly, and she has an equally complicated relationship with preacher Bruh Abel, whom she thinks of as a sham even as he tries to turn her from her conjuring ways. Meanwhile, a secret she hides deep in the woods drives the narrative forward. VERDICT Atakora effectively handles the before-during-and-after structure, enriching her story. If its center is the vibrant Rue, the entire community finally feels like the main character. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 9/9/19.]—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2020 January #2

Atakora's haunting, promising debut explores the legacy of a Southern plantation in the years leading up to and following the Civil War. Miss May Belle, a "conjure woman" known for casting spells to relieve ailments, helps fellow enslaved women with childbirth and treats their cruel master, Marse Charles, for sexually transmitted infections. Alternating in chapters titled "Slaverytime" and "Freedomtime," Atakora follows May Belle's daughter, Rue, who learned her mother's knowledge before her death. At 20, Rue continues living on the plantation grounds with most of the other former slaves after the war ends and Marse Charles disappears. His daughter, Varina, however, stays behind in hiding from those wishing to seek vengeance for the master's abuses. After Rue helps with the birth of an unusually pale baby born with "oil-slicked black irises," the infant is blamed for the spread of a mysterious disease. A charismatic black preacher named Bruh Abel promises that a baptism will heal the afflicted, while Rue concocts her own plan and continues to secretly care for Varina, whom she grew up with and takes pity on. Through complex characters and bewitching prose, Atakora offers a stirring portrait of the power conferred between the enslaved women. This powerful tale of moral ambiguity amid inarguable injustice stands with Esi Edugyan's Washington Black. Agent: Amelia Atlas, International Creative Management. (Mar.)Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the book's title.

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

PW Reviews 2020 January #2

Atakora's haunting, promising debut explores the legacy of a Southern plantation in the years leading up to and following the Civil War. Miss May Belle, a "conjure woman" known for casting spells to relieve ailments, helps fellow enslaved women with childbirth and treats their cruel master, Marse Charles, for sexually transmitted infections. Alternating in chapters titled "Slaverytime" and "Freedomtime," Atakora follows May Belle's daughter, Rue, who learned her mother's knowledge before her death. At 20, Rue continues living on the plantation grounds with most of the other former slaves after the war ends and Marse Charles disappears. His daughter, Varina, however, stays behind in hiding from those wishing to seek vengeance for the master's abuses. After Rue helps with the birth of an unusually pale baby born with "oil-slicked black irises," the infant is blamed for the spread of a mysterious disease. A charismatic black preacher named Bruh Abel promises that a baptism will heal the afflicted, while Rue concocts her own plan and continues to secretly care for Varina, whom she grew up with and takes pity on. Through complex characters and bewitching prose, Atakora offers a stirring portrait of the power conferred between the enslaved women. This powerful tale of moral ambiguity amid inarguable injustice stands with Esi Edugyan's Washington Black. Agent: Amelia Atlas, International Creative Management. (Mar.)Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the book's title.

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.