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Publisher's Summary

Inspired by the true story of a former slave who became a saint, this poignant novel explores how a human being can survive the obliteration of her identity, and how kindness and generosity can be born out of profound trauma.

She recalls little of her childhood, not even her own name. She was barely seven years old when she was snatched by slave raiders from her village in the Darfur region of southern Sudan. In a cruel twist, they gave her the name that she will carry for the rest of her life: Bakhita, “the Lucky One” in Arabic. Sold and resold along the slave trade routes, Bakhita endures years of unspeakable abuse and terror. At age 13, at last, her life takes a turn when the Italian consul in Khartoum purchases her. A few years later, as chaos engulfs the capital, the consul returns to Italy, taking Bakhita with him. In this new land, another long and arduous journey begins - one that leads her onto a spiritual path for which she is still revered today.

With rich, evocative language, Véronique Olmi immerses the listener in Bakhita’s world - her unfathomable resilience, her stubborn desire to live, and her ability to turn toward the pain of others in spite of the terrible sufferings that she too must endure.

©2017 Éditions Albin Michel English; translation © 2019 by Other Press (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

What listeners say about Bakhita

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What a heart wrenching story!

I had a very difficult time with this book. I can not imagine anyone going through the things Bakhita went through in her life after she was ripped away from her village, her family, and everything she knew as a seven-year-old child. I have done genealogy research on my family and have gone back to my maternal 4xgr-grandfather who was from the Congo. I wondered if he witnessed the same kinds of things in his middle passage. Even though Bakhita was not a middle passage slave but an "old world" slave, the atrocities she experienced were just as horrendous with the same kinds of effects on her. People are so cruel to their fellow human beings only because of the difference in their skin color.

This book left me crying. I had to stop reading for a couple of days before I picked it up again. Bakhita is definitely the patron saint of trafficked people. There is a lot to be learned from her life's experience as hard as it was.

The narrator Bahni Turpin, did an excellent job with the story, making the story come true to life with her excellent portrayal of the African and Italian accents, and most important of all Bahkita's deep accented voice.

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Absolutely astounding!

This book showed me the power of forgiveness!
I have a total new respect on slavery then I did before, because the book is deep to the core! I found myself thinking about this book while doing other daily activities. Best book yet

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Moving story and great translation

Thoroughly engaging with an effective narrator. And it is true at least the broad strokes. The will to live with a devotion to help. Freedom within the structure of the convent.