We are kicking off our Valentine’s Day celebration with news about Nikę Campbell’s new book titled Saro. At the center of the story, which is set in mid-19th century Lagos and Sierra Leon, is a love triangle told in the context of war and political intrigue. Saro will be published by Narrative Landscape Press towards the middle of this year. This will be Campbell’s second work of historical fiction with her first being Thread of Gold Beads.
Saro follows the story of one family’s journey from escaping enslavement, building wealth, and fighting an unjust ruler. Yejide Kilanko, author of A Good Name, praises Campbell for “deftly bring[ing] alive complex history through the unflinching eyes of flawed yet resilient characters who leave us yearning with them for stolen identities and new dreams.”
Nikę Campbell is a Nigerian American (based out of Florida, USA), born in Lviv, Ukraine, and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. She was a finalist for the 2018 Red Hen Press Fiction Award for her historical fiction manuscript. A selection of her short stories from her collection, Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon, have been adapted for film, which have won international awards.
Read the book’s description below.
“On a visit to the coast of Marina, Lagos, Siwoolu and his young family are lured by a traitor to a grand merchant ship where they are captured by slave holders masquerading as traders. On the way to the new world, they are rescued by abolitionists on a British naval ship, and sent to Freetown, a haven for freed slaves.
They settle in their new home, grow their family and become successful merchants, trading goods between Freetown and Eko. Dotunu, Siwoolu’s wife, falls in love with another man and is caught in a love triangle. But their lives are upended again when they hear that the kingdom has selected the traitor as king. Siwoolu, content with his new life, yet fearful of a curse that lurks in the shadows, refuses to return, but Dotunu is determined to keep the traitor from the throne. She turns to their son, Oșolu, who is running from his own demons, to seize the throne that is rightfully theirs.
SARO is a mutigenerational tale of betrayal and restitution, love and war, inspired by true events that will take the reader from the rocky terrain of Abeokuta and burgeoning city of Lagos to the lion mountains of Freetown and Hastings of Sierra Leone from the 1830s to the 1850s.”
Congratulations to Campbell on her upcoming publication! Stay tuned for more info about the book.