Wild, Beautiful, and Free: A Novel Spiral-Bound | March 1, 2023
★★★★☆+ from 1,001 to 10,000 ratings
Wild, Beautiful, and Free: A Novel
From award-winning author Sophfronia Scott comes the story of one young woman’s bold journey to reclaim her birthright and carve out her own place in a world that tells her she doesn’t belong.
Born the daughter of an enslaved woman and a Louisiana plantation owner, Jeannette Bébinn is raised alongside her white half sister—until her father suddenly dies. His vindictive wife refuses twelve-year-old Jeannette her inheritance and sells her into slavery.
Now on her own, Jeannette must fight the injustices she faces because of her mixed race. She escapes enslavement and travels from Mississippi to Philadelphia to New York to Ohio, all while searching for purpose, love, and her place in a country torn asunder by the burgeoning Civil War.
Everything seems to fall into place when she meets Christian Robichaud Colchester, the white proprietor of Fortitude Mansion, a safe haven for escaped slaves where Jeannette teaches. But despite their instant connection, Jeannette isn’t convinced she belongs in his circle.
In a world that tells her she doesn’t fit anywhere, Jeannette must decide what’s more important: bending to the expectations of others or embracing her true self.
Praise for Wild, Beautiful, and Free
“Skillfully crafted…this evocative novel brings full circle the power of love and forgiveness. A worthwhile and insightful read that lingers in the mind long after the last page is turned.” —Historical Novels Review
“Fresh and absorbing...” —Ms. Magazine
“Sophfronia Scott’s Wild, Beautiful and Free is a lyrical, haunting exploration of the family bonds that nurture and those that wound. A gorgeous story of identity, love, forgiveness and strength; it is a triumph!” —Joy Jordan-Lake, bestselling author of A Bend of Light
“Telling the story of a child of a slave owner and an enslaved woman, Wild, Beautiful, and Free focuses on the individual heartbreaks of slavery and especially on the heroine, a courageous young woman who has to find her own route to becoming a free woman. It’s intensely readable—a page-turner set in a vividly described landscape.” —Philippa Gregory, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Stunning in a thousand ways, this spellbinding declaration of wild and beautiful freedom burns so fearless and hot it fairly takes one’s breath away. As the mixed-race heiress of a white, slave-owning father fights to survive enslavement, the danger of escape, and the Civil War to reclaim her life’s rightful place, her fierce battle rewrites the essence of what it means to be home and free. Sophfronia Scott gets pitch perfect every word, moment, heartbreak, and victory of this young woman’s determined struggle. From start to finish, it’s a searing and stunning triumph.” —Patricia Raybon, author of All That Is Secret: An Annalee Spain Mystery
“Exquisite and bold, Wild, Beautiful, and Free is a lush retelling of Jane Eyre that captures the tumult of the American Civil War and graces it with tones of the everlasting classic that will enchant both old and new readers of the story. Scott honors what makes it beloved while throwing open the doors to a new setting, a new era, always keeping readers on their toes as she balances just enough intrigue to make those familiar with it wonder what will happen next. Highly recommended!” —Camille Di Maio, bestselling author of The Memory of Us
Praise for Sophfronia Scott
“Marvelously dramatic…Brings its era to life with lush detail.” —People
“A dazzlingly dark and engaging tale full of heartbreak, treachery, and surprise.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Scott will most assuredly be recognized for her superb storytelling.” —Booklist
“Scott should take a bow for penning this delicious and infinitely enjoyable read.” —Essence
“Highly recommended.” —Historical Novel Society