Lauren Francis-Sharma

In 2015, Lauren Francis-Sharma burst upon the literary scene with the highly praised debut novel, ‘Till The Well Runs Dry, called a “lush, elegant epic” by Essence magazine.

Her second literary offering promises to be just as dramatic and engaging, and we are proud she will again join us at the National Book Club Conference.

This time, she will discuss The Book of the Little Axe, which releases next May, a novel set in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries about migration and the intertwined destinies of black and Native Americans in shaping the West.

In 1796 Trinidad, young Rosa Rendón 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.

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