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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Ken Czech’s Beyond The River Of Shame is the literary adventure of Samuel Baker in Victorian-era Africa, a combination of historical facts and fictionalized elements of the famous 19th-century British explorer, and his wife Florence ‘Florie’ von Sass. Their fated encounter at the slave auction ended up with Sam winning the bid to save the young woman from unscrupulous men. However, he risks his family reputation and Florie is still not safe from the slavers.
Beyond The River Of Shame takes place in a time of crucial social change, and when academic societies sponsored explorations to advance knowledge and make discoveries. The narrative overall is eloquent, and the characters are well fleshed out and given great dialogue, presenting readers with the natural cadence and dynamic conversation of that era. Sam has to prove that he’s not just a hunter and writer but also a capable explorer to the Royal Geographical Society that favors other reliably noted individuals. His encounter with Florie added more challenge to his task, but as the story progresses, Sam and Florie’s relationship is clearly meant to be.
The courageous Florie proves that her hard life made her stronger and a capable partner to Sam as they journey to find the source of the Nile River while braving floods, diseases, and persistent slave catchers. This is a solid exploration, a history-inspired tale, highlighting the bond between Samuel and Florence Baker. Credit to Czech, who gives literary fans a story that is both informative and entertaining.