“Eleanor Sam is a powerful story teller, weaving several narratives with beautiful prose. Telling an emotional story of human brutality juxtaposed with amazing descriptions of the beautiful landscape is a great skill. Her writing is so touching that I was very emotional, and taken back in time. The characters felt so real and I was reminded of how resilient people are. Mariama’s story is the story of millions of young women who endured the transatlantic slave trade and more. I could not put the book down. I read it in 2 days. I cannot wait for her next book!”
- Rahel O.
“A stirring and emotional read, I couldn’t put The Wisdom of Rain down. I was drawn into Mariama’s journey from the very first pages. The novel is clearly well researched and grounded in the humanity of the characters captured within its pages. I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in exploring the history and legacy of the enslavement of Black people. Bravo to Eleanor P. Sam for a tremendous debut novel – I’m looking forward to your next work.”
- Ginelle A.
“I loved this book. It is well written and I highly recommend it. The author, Eleanor Sam, does a great job of taking us back in time. Though there are many unpleasant truths, the book is balanced by the strength of the slave characters and the way in which each dealt with their captivity. In particular, Khadijah, Mariama, and Hessie – all strong women in their own ways, demonstrated courage and grit. I am thoroughly impressed with the details and historical content, all woven together for a great read. Well done!”
- Rosemarie W.
“I loved this book! The author is a great story teller, able to absorb the reader in both the historical details as well as the emotion of the characters and their lives. It is heart wrenching history — but the author manages to also weave in the better parts of humanity such that one is left with an appreciation of the power of love, hope and courage. I highly recommend it.”
“A great read indeed!
We are drawn deeply into the reality of life of the young girl Mariama who is abducted into slavery as well into as the lives of the many richly developed characters in this book. The author does a good job of having us hear the voices of many who were either enslaved or a part of the slave trade, weaving in the influences of culture and religion and painting a picture of the complexity of human beings. I felt sorrow, anger, joy and hope and was reminded that we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Though it deals with tough issues, this book is well written, very engaging, and a worthwhile read.”
“Many years ago I read Roots and really enjoyed the mini-series and more recently several novels set in slavery times have been great reads. I found The Wisdom of Rain while browsing Fiction and Literature and it has turned out to be a real gem as well. It begins in Africa and tells the story of a young girl’s capture and sea transport to the colony of Demerary in South America. People, this novel has some nasty characters in it and one in particular named Grimes made me want to reach into the book and strangle him. But anyway, there are also some very lovable people, especially the main character Mariama and her friend and mentor Hessie. The white people don’t come off too well, but then they were up to no good in that time and place. One exception is a missionary whose search for his brother intersects with Mariama’s life. The plot flows naturally but with unexpected twists that keep you reading. All in all, one of my favourites so far this year.”
“Congratulations to first time Novelist Eleanor P. Sam for such a well researched and engaging book. In taking readers from West Africa to South America, we are confronted with the inhumanity of slavery as well as the resilience of the enslaved.
The Author has a penchant for detail and through characterization, there is covert reference that in the era the novel covers, “Black lives mattered”!
“Presented as the story of a young Mende girl (Mariama) taken captive by slave traders and transported from her village in West Africa into a life of servitude in Demerary – South America, ‘The Wisdom of Rain’ is well worth reading.
The novel offers a clear characterization of slavery and colonialism; the subject matter is telling and it makes no pretense of the methods of control and torture which the enslaved endured.
The reader gets to see Mariama’s story play out, her resilience in adversity and eventual recovery. Another main character – Hessie – head house slave and loyal friend to Mariama also experienced trauma, however, she kept her wits about her, created a vision of freedom and was able to transform her circumstances by buying her freedom; this was the catalyst for improving the status of Mariama and her companion Mahaad.
The short chapters bridge the gap between characters and Sam’s use of Guyanese creolese, her references to local Guyanese produce, villages, towns and indigenous peoples are a beautiful representation of the country, culture and community and made it more of a pleasure to read.
The author gives the reader a good ‘look in’ on the dehumanization of slaves and whilst painting a vivid characterization of slavery on the plantation, she also demonstrates that even when we’ve passed through the doorway of grief, healing and recovery are always possible.”
“I loved this book. It is such an important story, although of tragedy and loss, it also details and fills the pages with strength and resilience. The book is filled with so many details and moments in history it feels like you are literally taken into the moments with the characters. Oh, and the characters! There are a lot of different perspectives being brought into the story, and each one is brilliantly done. Every new character was captured solidly, their thoughts, their beliefs, their personalities, entire essences, so much so, each character impacted the story and touched your soul in different ways. You can tell the author took much time and patience with each character and with every little detail in the book, you know it couldn’t have been an easy journey to take to write this, but I appreciate that she did. I particularly enjoyed the ending, (spoiler alert) and how you get to read about the generations after Mariama, how her survival led to a long line of descendants. I enjoyed reading the reunion and it made me think of my own family reunions and my own history, one very much connected to the slave trade. Such a great read and I highly recommended it to everyone.”
Powerful read and great writing with all the minor details. The story follows a young girl from her early teens to a ripe old age of 80 years. It showed the trials and tribulations of growing up in slavery. My emotions were all over the place…..I felt pride, I felt joy, and I felt anger. It is a powerful read that I highly recommend. In The Wisdom of Rain it has a passage on how to defeat evil which I thought was most fitting. I will read this book again.
- Eloise S
I found this book to be a thoroughly entertaining novel. I originally chose to read this after I had just finished reading and loving The Book Of Negros. If you enjoyed reading one of these books, I promise, you will most certainly love the other.”
- Sarah M.
“I would recommend The Wisdom of Rain to anyone looking for a good read. The author Eleanor P Sam is a Canadian born in Guyana South America. I can relate to this book especially the creole in it. I grew up in Demerara. My favorite characters in this book are Mariama and Hessie. Although it was a story of tragedy and loss it also showed the courage and determination they had to overcome all their obstacles that they endured. The story was easy to follow and the concepts well defined.”
“I really loved the book. The writer really captured sorrow and pain of the characters. This book would make a great movie!!”
- Julie K