Can’t-Wait Wednesday: She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore

Posted August 8, 2018 by Stephanie in can't-wait wednesday / 15 Comments

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. It’s based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.

She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore
Expected publication: September 11th 2018 by Graywolf Press

A novel of exhilarating range, magical realism, and history—a dazzling retelling of Liberia’s formation
Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.

Moore’s intermingling of history and magical realism finds voice not just in these three characters but also in the fleeting spirit of the wind, who embodies an ancient wisdom. “If she was not a woman,” the wind says of Gbessa, “she would be king.” In this vibrant story of the African diaspora, Moore, a talented storyteller and a daring writer, illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States. She Would Be King is a novel of profound depth set against a vast canvas and a transcendent debut from a major new author.

Reasons why I’m looking forward to this book:
• Magical realism
• History
• A retelling of Liberia’s beginning
• The cover is gorgeous
Three different points of view (I think)
• It sounds like a powerful story


15 responses to “Can’t-Wait Wednesday: She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore

  1. Ashley S.

    This sounds super interesting! I love books that mix history and magical realism. Great pick! 🙂

  2. The Candid Cover YA book blogg

    I think that you are right! This is bound to be quite a powerful read. I hope that you enjoy it. 🙂

  3. Greg Hill

    I think that history and magical realism can be a powerful combo, like Sam said. This looks good, and illuminating about Liberia too I imagine.

  4. literaryfeline

    This sounds so good! Magical realism is hit and miss with me (depending on the author), but I do love books set in Africa. It has been awhile since I last read one. And I can't resist historical fiction. I will definitely have to add this one to my own wish list! I hope you love it when you read it, Stephanie!

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