Once in every generation, there is a landmark book that adds a new richness to all our lives. For millions of people of all colors, that book was Alex Haley’s Roots. Roots was an instant success, winning a Pulitzer Prize and spawning the most-watched miniseries in television history. Alex Haley’s legacy has had as great an impact on American families as any story in the twentieth century.
Now, from the author of Roots, comes Alex Haley’s Queen – the saga of his father’s family. Lovers of sweeping generational epics will find much to rejoice in here. Once again, this is a personal saga, but one played out against the broad canvas of American history. The story begins in Ireland, where Haley’s white great-great-grandfather, James Jackson, Sr., is born. From there we travel with Jackson to Nashville, where he meets Andrew Jackson, the future president of the United States. The two men become business partners, and James Jackson makes his fortune. He establishes his grand plantation, The Forks of Cypress, in Alabama, while Andrew ascends to the White House, and the rumblings that will explode into the Civil War gather force. James’s son Jass Jackson inherits the plantation just as the genteel, well-ordered antebellum world begins to crumble. His adolescent attraction to the beautiful and strong willed slave named Easter blossoms into a powerful and lasting love, and from their passionate union comes Queen – the heroine of the tale, Alex Haley’s grandmother.
This is history at its most compelling – from the Irish soil to the settlement of the South; from the Trail of Tears to the battlefield at Manassas; from the agonies of slavery to the tribulations of freedom – all rendered with the eye fortelling detail and the sense of historical significance that readers have come to expect of Haley.
In this, his final book, Alex Haley has created a truly multicultural family saga, the capstone to one of the great, classic American stories.