Bookshelf: Good Fortune

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Inspired by her family history, Good Fortune traces one girl's journey from slavery to freedom.

Told by 19-year-old Noni Carter in her debut historical fiction novel, Good Fortune is an inspiring story about Ayanna Bahati, a black slave girl in the early 19th century who is brutally kidnapped from her small African, along with her brother, and forced onto a slave ship to America. As Ayanna, renamed Anna, rises from the cotton fields to the master’s house, she finds the familial love she’s been yearning for in elderly Mary and Mary’s son Daniel—but she is also faced with more threats to her survival. Risking everything to escape the plantation, Anna manages to make it north and to freedom, eventually settling in the free black community of Hudson, Ohio, and educating herself to become a teacher.

In the tradition of Copper Sun and Chains, this is the stirring tale of a girl’s journey from Africa to freedom and from youth to womanhood.

“I began Good Fortune around 12-years-old with the passion to tell a good story, and to teach a history that was very near to my heart,” Carter said. “With pen in hand and inspiration in spirit, I began loosely writing what was at the time a short story. Then one evening, I was told the story of an ancestor of mine, Grandma Rose, who had watched her mother sold away from her across the Mississippi River. As you can imagine, this account really got me thinking about the story that sat at the tip of my pen, and became one of the major motivations for writing what turned into my first published novel.”

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