An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody
Rarely does a manuscript cross my desk that is as moving and powerful as C.J. Heigelmann's An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody. From the onset, the reader is swept into a pulse pounding sea voyage with the fate of a recently orphaned young Asian boy hanging in the balance, wearing a jade amulet, once owned by his beloved mother, now the only link to his past. His unconventional bond with the ship's captain transforms this once timid young boy into an admirable young man, and catapults him into life and death situations as he becomes a scout, fighting for the North during the height of the Civil War.
C.J. weaves an equally powerful parallel storyline as we follow a young girl ripped from her homeland in Africa and forced to endure the horrors and cruelty of a long journey aboard a slave ship set sail for the American shores. Upon arrival, she is sold into slavery and taken to a plantation in Alabama, where she must find the strength within herself to brave the new world and accept her plight in life. No longer a free child running through the plains of Africa, she is now considered livestock to do the constant bidding of her Master.Although, the plantation owner seems kind at first, circumstances brought on during the Civil War harden his heart and the once fair man turns to cruelty and a harsh hand with his slaves.
By a chance of fate, the beautiful slave girl encounters the scout from the north and a forbidden romance is sparked. The two feel an immediate connection to one another, but the prospect of ever being together seems an impossible and dangerous dream toattain. The star-crossed lovers yearn to be with one another, but the dire circumstances of both of their situations continually prevent this from ever coming into fruition.
The dream keeps hope alive, until tragedy strikes. All hope seems lost... But through their love and their loss, hope springs eternal. The brilliantly woven canvas upon which C.J. tells his story is heartbreaking and triumphant in the same breath. Driven to tears one moment and crying out in joy the next, the reader will be forever touched by this eloquent story of love and survival amidst one of the darkest chapters in our nation's history. Implore all of you to curl up on the couch with a warm cup of tea or a nice glass of wine, clear your mind, and escape into An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody .
Terrie M. Scott
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