The Grace in Africa series is a sweeping three-part historical saga of slavery and freedom that takes the reader from an island off the west coast of Africa to Southern plantations and finally on to Canada. All her life, Grace Winslow, the daughter of a mixed marriage between an English sea captain and an African princess, has been sheltered from the truth about the family business--the capture and trade of slaves. Set in 1787 in West Africa, The Call of Zulina opens as the scorching harmattan winds blow. Desperate to avoid marriage to an odious suitor, Grace escapes the family compound only to be caught up in a slave revolt at the fortress of Zulina. Soon, she begins to grasp the brutality and ferocity of the family business. Held for ransom, viciously maimed by a runaway slave, and threatened with death, Grace is finally jerked into reality and comes to sympathize with the plight of the captives. She admires their strength and courage and is genuinely moved by the African Cabeto's passion, determination, and willingness to sacrifice anything, including his own life, for his people's freedom.
Strom, evangelical Christian author of 34 books and an activist against modern slavery, takes an indirect approach to calling attention to that issue with her newest fiction title, the first of three planned in the Grace in Africa series, set in West Africa in 1787. Strom's protagonist, Grace Winslow, the daughter of an English sea captain and an African princess, aligns herself with her father's slaves. Young adult Grace is promised in marriage to a pompous, offensive white man and even Grace's mother (who endured the same fate, having been forced to marry for political reasons) colludes with Grace's father in this scheme. Grace, realizing she is just as much a slave as her full African counterparts, runs away and discovers a new life and a better reason for living. She also has her eyes opened to the atrocities that have surrounded her for years. Strom's fictional account of the battle at the fortress of Zulina between the slaves and their masters is mostly believable, though some of the dialogue sounds a bit stilted. Strom does succeed in capturing how utterly reprehensible any form of slavery is, past or present.