Rosa Rendón is the headstrong yet loyal daughter of a landed Black family in turn of the 19th century in Trinidad. She ends up married to a Black Crow chief near the Bighorn Mountains, and has an inquisitive son who, at the edge of adulthood, is faltering, untethered from his Apsáalooke identity. Her subsequent journey into her past is both her son’s salvation and the reader’s delight. As majestic and adventurous as it is emotional and deeply rooted to family, I loved every moment of being immersed in this novel.— Melinda
A BOOKLIST EDITOR'S CHOICE BOOK OF THE YEAR
Ambitious and masterfully-wrought, Lauren Francis-Sharma's Book of the Little Axe is an incredible journey, spanning decades and oceans from Trinidad to the American West during the tumultuous days of warring colonial powers and westward expansion.
In 1796 Trinidad, young Rosa Rend n quietly but purposefully rebels against the life others expect her to lead. Bright, competitive, and opinionated, Rosa sees no reason she should learn to cook and keep house, for it is obvious her talents lie in running the farm she, alone, views as her birthright. But when her homeland changes from Spanish to British rule, it becomes increasingly unclear whether its free black property owners--Rosa's family among them--will be allowed to keep their assets, their land, and ultimately, their freedom.
By 1830, Rosa is living among the Crow Nation in Bighorn, Montana with her children and her husband, Edward Rose, a Crow chief. Her son Victor is of the age where he must seek his vision and become a man. But his path forward is blocked by secrets Rosa has kept from him. So Rosa must take him to where his story began and, in turn, retrace her own roots, acknowledging along the way, the painful events that forced her from the middle of an ocean to the rugged terrain of a far-away land.