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Available copies

  • 0 of 3 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 0 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

4 current holds with 3 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Hawley Public Library JOH (Text) 33500013343702 New In transit -
McIntosh Public Library JOH (Text) 33500013343710 New In transit -
Roseau Public Library JOH (Text) 35500006443327 New In transit -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781982149109
  • ISBN: 1982149108
  • Physical Description: 278 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2021.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (page 275).
Summary, etc.:
Born on a plantation but set apart from the others by her mother's position as a medicine woman, a young slave is forced to leave home at eighteen and unexpectedly finds herself in an infamously cruel jail.
Born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia, Pheby Brown was promised her freedom on her eighteenth birthday. Instead she finds herself thrust into the bowels of slavery at the infamous Devil's Half-Acre, a jail where slaves are broken, tortured, and sold every day. Forced to become the mistress of the brutal man who owns the jail, Pheby's survival lies in outwitting him-- even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice. -- adapted from jacket

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2020 December #2
    Johnson (And Then There Was Me, 2017) follows the life of an enslaved woman, Pheby Delores Brown, born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia. She is afforded the privileges of learning to read and write and playing the piano, and the promise of freedom on her eighteenth birthday. After a sequence of unfortunate events, however Pheby is sold up north to Richmond. Her master, who owns a jail known as Devil's Half-Acre, where the enslaved are kept in inhuman living conditions and severely beaten, takes her in as his wife. Pheby has given up hope of freedom and decides to barter her companionship for a better life for her children. She also battles her conscience as she aids in the preparation of the enslaved to be sold. Johnson writes with imagery so vivid that it's impossible to look away, even during gut-wrenching moments. Readers will be engulfed in captivating suspense, rooting for the protagonist and her mischief, in hopes that it will deliver her from the evils of slavery. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Sadeqa Johnson is the award-winning author of four novels. Her accolades include the National Book Club Award, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the USA Best Book Award for Best Fiction. She is a Kimbilio Fellow, former board member of the James River Writers, and a Tall Poppy Writer. Originally from Philadelphia, she currently lives near Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and three children. To learn more, visit


Subject: Women slaves > Fiction.
Slavery > Virginia > Fiction.
African Americans > Virginia > Fiction.
Plantation life > Virginia > Fiction.
Prisons > Virginia > History > Fiction.
Virginia > History > 19th century > Fiction.
Charles City (Va.) > History > 19th century > Fiction.
Richmond (Va.) > History > 19th century > Fiction.
Coming of age.
Genre: Historical fiction.

Additional Resources