Image of A Respectable Trade


Image of A Respectable Trade

Only an author of Gregory's talents could create a story with the sweep of a Gone With the Wind, The Thorn Birds or Beulah Land. She evokes the era of the British slave trade within a tangled and haunting tale of forbidden love that truly touches the heart and mind.

Bristol merchant Josiah Cole is so eager to join the movers and shakers of the community that he marries 34-year-old spinster Frances Scott for her social connections. Wed to a trader, Frances' survival is tied to rum, sugar and slaves. In fact, it is her "job" to train newly arrived Africans as house servants, and this is how she meets Mehuru, a priest of the West African kingdom of Yoruba.

The forbidden passion that develops into a strong love goes against everything Frances has been raised to believe in, but there's no denying the power of what is between them. The sacrifices they both make to keep their love a secret and the ultimate risk they take is so powerful and poignant that readers may well rate this Gregory's most powerful work. (Touchstone, Feb., 500 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin