Summary and book reviews of Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen

by Sarah Bird

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird X
Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird
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  • Published:
    Sep 2018, 416 pages

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Book Summary

The compelling, hidden story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the only woman to ever serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers.

"Here's the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of queen and my mama never let me forget it."

Though born into bondage on a "miserable tobacco farm" in Little Dixie, Missouri, Cathy Williams was never allowed to considered herself a slave. According to her mother, she was a captive, bound by her noble warrior blood to escape the enemy. Her means of deliverance is Union general Phillip Henry "Smash 'em Up" Sheridan, the outcast of West Point who takes the rawboned, prideful young woman into service. At war's end, having tasted freedom, Cathy refuses to return to servitude and makes the monumental decision to disguise herself as a man and join the Army's legendary Buffalo Soldiers.

Alone now in the ultimate man's world, Cathy must fight not only for her survival and freedom, but she vows to never give up on finding her mother, her little sister, and the love of the only man strong and noble enough to win her heart. Inspired by the stunning, true story of Private Williams, this American heroine comes to vivid life in a sweeping and magnificent tale about one woman's fight for respect and independence.

Christina Baker Kline says Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen is "an epic page-turner" and "unforgettable."

Chapter 1

Here's the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of a queen and my mama never let me forget it. That's right. Royal blood runs purple through my veins. And I am talking real Africa blood. Not that tea-water queens over in England have to make do with. My royal blood comes from my grandmother, my Iyaiya, as we called her in Fon, our secret Africa language. And don't go picturing one of them sweet old grannies like you got nowadays with linty lemon drops tucked into her apron pocket for the grandkids. No, she had possum teeth, filed to points so, if need be, she could rip an enemy's throat out, for my grandmother was one of the Leopard King's six thousand warrior-wives, what the French called les Amazones.

The second thing you better get straight about Miss Cathy Williams is that, even though I had the misfortune to be born in Missouri nearly fifty years ago, somewhere in the vicinity of 1840 to 1844, ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. "Royal blood runs purple through my veins. And I am talking real Africa blood. Not that tea-water queens over in England have to make due with. My royal blood comes from my grandmother, my Iyaiya, as we call her in For, our secret Africa language." (3) Discuss Cathy Williams' lineage and how she sees herself through the lens of her family's history and culture. Do you or could you imagine carrying such a sense of self possession or having such a destiny to chase?
  2. "Burn every grain of Rebel wheat and every kernel of Rebel corn! Burn it to the ground! I want the crows flying overhead to have to carry their own rations!" (5) This is one visceral, violent snapshot of the Civil War and the "total war" style of fighting brought to ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Rapturously imagined and shamelessly entertaining

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bird's fast-paced, action-packed story is a bittersweet one - grand love and legacy ultimately eluded Williams - but this fearless, often heartbreaking account sheds a welcome light on an extraordinary American warrior.

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