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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Trials & Tribulations of Modesty Greene: A Fictional Novel About Harriet Tubman’s Historical Legacy by D W Plato has settings that sweep from a very third-world country to North America, and the huge cast of characters is equally detailed and vivid. The reader experiences eighteenth-century Africa and how “Little Mo” is captured by slave traders and taken to work for the cruel Maryland plantation owner, Robert Banks, chosen at the request of his spoiled lesbian daughter, Ethel. Modesty Greene is “the Massa’s” property – his to force to work by any means, and her body his to rape. How Modesty survives to grow up, marry, and give birth to a dynasty that includes Araminta Ross – Harriet – is an intriguing story.
Trials & Tribulations of Modesty Greene opens with Mo’destee Vert, a young Senegambia teenager, in love and happy. Life as she knows it ends when her beloved father fails to prevent villagers being taken as slaves and shipped to America. At first, Modesty Greene, as she is now known, appears to be lucky, befriended by Ethel, Robert Banks’ daughter, but she is hated by her fellow slaves who assume she gets special treatment. A Muslim, she is at prayer when her master first rapes her. In Trials & Tribulations of Modesty Greene, D W Plato has written a worthy tribute to the real Harriet Tubman and I recommend it to everyone interested in history, freedom, women’s rights, or all three.
Trials & Tribulations of Modesty Greene lends itself particularly well to audio, perhaps because the author employed three narrators. Tishelle Peterson, Nene Nwoko, and Machelle Williams did an incredible job bringing Modesty Greene’s story to life. They each sounded so “right” in their part, and none of them had a problem when the character in question happened to be male or a descriptive section. It held my attention one hundred percent.