Two Sisters: A Story of Freedom

Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books

Set in Jamaica and London in 1781, this insightful novel follows the fate of half-sisters Ruth and Anna, who are born to the same slave mother. Ruth’s black father was sold when she was a baby, and Anna’s father is the white plantation owner, Master John Ambrose. Despite their different personalities (Ruth is adventurous and fearless while Anna is quiet and dislikes confrontation), the girls are inseparable.

Fearing for their safety on the plantation, the girls’ mother persuades Master John to take them to England to stay with his sister. However, when they arrive, they are met with hostility. Anna is barely tolerated by her aunt and Ruth is subjected to cruelty and humiliation. Realising her headstrong nature is not an asset in Georgian high society, Ruth desperately hopes Anna will find the strength to step up and protect them both.

As well as highlighting the appalling treatment of slaves, this moving tale, based partially on real events, celebrates the bond between the sisters and the courage of those who help them.

An excellent addition to the Voices series, which features stories about historical black and minority ethnic figures, whose contribution to Britain has often gone unrecognised.

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