• King Peggy

  • An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village
  • By: Eleanor Herman, Peggielene Bartels
  • Narrated by: J. Karen Thomas
  • Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (156 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The charming real-life fairy tale of an American secretary who discovers she has been chosen king of an impoverished fishing village on the west coast of Africa. King Peggy has the sweetness and quirkiness of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and the hopeful sense of possibility of Half the Sky.

King Peggy chronicles the astonishing journey of an American secretary who suddenly finds herself king to a town of 7,000 souls on Ghana's central coast, half a world away. Upon arriving for her crowning ceremony in beautiful Otuam, she discovers the dire reality: there's no running water, no doctor, and no high school, and many of the village elders are stealing the town's funds. To make matters worse, her uncle (the late king) sits in a morgue awaiting a proper funeral in the royal palace, which is in ruins. The longer she waits to bury him, the more she risks incurring the wrath of her ancestors. Peggy's first two years as king of Otuam unfold in a way that is stranger than fiction. In the end, a deeply traditional African town has been uplifted by the ambitions of its headstrong, decidedly modern female king. And in changing Otuam, Peggy is herself transformed, from an ordinary secretary to the heart and hope of her community.

©2012 Peggielene Bartels, Eleanor Herman (P)2012 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“This is an astonishing and wonderful book about a real life Mma Ramotswe. It is an utter joy." (Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency)

What listeners say about King Peggy

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Love King Peggy!

I live right outside Washington, DC and invited King Peggy, via Facebook, to my bookclub meeting last weekend since we would be discussing her book, SHE CAME, ALONG WITH HER COAUTHOR and she is as witty and amusing as in the book! She told us more stories about her people....their innocence reminds me of those described in "The Number One Ladies Detective" novels.

The narrator did a great job with all the voices too!

7 people found this helpful

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Long Live the King!

I had to keep reminding myself King Peggy is a true story. It's more entertaining than a lot of fiction I've read lately. I found myself the ultimate spectator, cheering King Peggy and her people on as they root out the corruption and lies of the elders and set about making life better for the village. It made me smile and scowl and practically dance with glee at times and mostly made me wish we had a leader who cared as much about our people as King Peggy cares about hers. I would love to hear our head of state threaten to " Squeeze your balls til your eyes pop out of your heads ". Long live the king, may she never have to go for a cure in the village!

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent Story, Well Written and Well Narrated

Would you listen to King Peggy again? Why?
Yes, I will listen to this story again because it is full of cultural aspects of Ghana, ie, pouring drinks for their dead ancestors, their rituals, and how they value family even in the light of disappointments.

What was one of the most memorable moments of King Peggy?
When the King had to accept that her ideals about her elders were wrong.

Which scene was your favorite?
I enjoyed the entire story... but when the King had to explain to the counsel of kings how she had buried the wrong king.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
The tag line would include a line indicating that against all odd the Lady King made major improvements to her village within a short period of time.

3 people found this helpful

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Very Inspiring

What an amazing woman this King Peggy is. She works as a secretary to the Ghanian Embassy in Washington D. C, but also runs a town in Ghana where they call her "king." She commutes between Washington and Ghana at least once a year, and her town has had some improvements made under her watch that are quite astounding, including the bringing of clean water to the town, and better education for the young people. I applaud her efforts on behalf of her people. She is truly inspiring.

The narrator, J. Karen Thomas, is likewise amazing.

1 person found this helpful

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A wonderfully true account of a real life women who became a King of Ghana

Wonderfully entertaining, very enlightening about Ghana culture and customs. I found it amazing that despite having become an American, King Peggy still appreciated and respected the culture she was born into. This novel is highly entertaining, funny at times but also a story of real life and a testimony to being the best you can be despite all going on around you.

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This was a wonderful surprise listen

This is a wonderful book in general, but an extraordinary audible. I am thrilled to have had the pure pleasure of listening and learning about King Peggy, as well as African culture. Because of the way it was written as well as read, I felt like I was in the middle of it all.

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It kept my attention to see how it would turn out.

As a rule, I never pick autobiographies to read, but I actually ended up liking the book and wanting to see what would happen next.

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Too much of a culture shock to me

I understand that culturally, Peggy had to trust her elders again and again but I could not take the idea that she would allow herself to be bilked time and time again. I didn't/couldn't/won't finish the book though I am certain that King Peggy is a charming woman whose company I would enjoy over a shared libations.

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Interesting story that combines history to the present

I would recommend this books to anyone they is curious about how ancient African culture and modern Christianity can co-exist. I was engaged through the out the story.

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Quite entertaining and informative

Higher than my expectations! Love the stories about women ruling man! If you love Ghana you will love this book! :-)

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