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September 9, 2022

My Name Is Ona Judge by Suzette D. Harrison ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

My Name is Ona Judge
by Suzette D. Harrison is a dual timeline historical fiction/modern-day novel about Ona Judge and her life as a slave.  Who is Ona Judge, you ask?  She was a real person who was a slave in the George Washington household in Mt Vernon and traveled with the family to Washington DC after Washington was elected president.  Since I'd never heard of her before or been taught about her in school, I googled her and found many books written about this woman and her escape from slavery.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of biographical fiction novel My Name is Ona Judge by Suzette D. Harrison
September 2022; Bookouture; 978-1803140773
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); biographical fiction

New Hampshire, 1796. “My name is Ona Judge, and I escaped from the household of the President of the United States. I was the favored maid of George and Martha Washington, but they deemed me a slave and thought me property, and I hear ten dollars is offered as reward for my capture. Now I must write the truth that I have lived, and tell my story…”

Ona Judge - we follow her story from a very young age.  From her learning to sew at her mother's knee. being a companion to the Washington grandchildren and finally the personal maid to Martha Washington.  In that role, she had to move to Washington after the presidential election.  She had always questioned why her people were treated so poorly and once she got to Washington, she began to meet free black people and abolitionists who wanted to help her.  Even though she knew if she got captured after she escaped, her punishment would probably be death, it was worth it to take the chance to find freedom.

Present - Tessa is part of a large family and is working to make her interior design business a success.  When she is in the old house of a family friend, she finds an old tattered diary that belonged to Ona.  It had long been rumored that a member of the family was a slave to the Washingtons and finding the diary proved that it was true.  As Tessa read more of the diary, it helped her to make some tough decisions in her life and work to set herself free.

Sometimes in dual storyline novels, I prefer one timeline over the other.  That wasn't the case with this book - both timelines were well written and both women had to learn to be strong and take control of their lives.

The author did a lot of research into Ona's life and the time period that she lived in and the results of her research show on every page.

This is a book that you don't want to miss about two strong and resilient women who both have to work to find their freedom and happiness.  It's an amazing story about love, loss, and redemption based  on a  true story from the founding of America

Buy My Name is Ona Judge at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  You can connect with her on Facebook.

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