Near Savannah, Georgia in 1812 a black slave, Joshua, murders his white master’s overseer in an act of revenge for the rape of his lover, Selma, the unacknowledged daughter of her master. Joshua escapes, not into the wilderness as many slaves did, but to the Bahamas. Over the next ten years he embarks on an odyssey which takes him to Cuba and Jamaica, where he is enslaved again. Selma is accused of abetting Joshua’s escape. She is beaten, gang raped and sold to a planter in Alabama, where she is partnered with a male slave, Joseph, by whom she has a son. Joseph and Selma, along with the baby escape to Florida, where runaway slaves and their allies, the Seminoles and Choctaws, live in the environs of an abandoned British fort. The story follows the parallel lives of Joshua and Selma in their quest for freedom, and on a life passage neither could have ever imagined.
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