In their collected memoirs, nine enslaved women tell how they freed themselves and took over their owners’ Mississippi breeding plantation, using African, African American, and European folktales to describe the magic and willpower that set them free.
From the tale of a beautiful woman imprisoned in a tower to save her village from slave raiders to the murdered girl whose spirit is trapped in her bedroom mirror, these stories build to a bloody battle between the shape-shifting freed people hiding in plain sight and the bounty-hunting patrollers who pursue them. The blue-eyed African American girl who masquerades as the freed people’s owner must learn, in the end, to choose the love and freedom in hiding that she can have or succumb to the death that is its only alternative.
The Second Book of Joy: Blood of Angels is the first notebook of family lore that Professor Bo Wolfson researched in The Books of Joy: Burning Streams. These are the magical tales about their enslaved ancestors that his lover Eva Dennison fought with him to destroy.