The book is set on a sugar plantation near New Orleans in 1828, and tells the story of Manon Gaudet, the wife of the plantation's owner, and Sarah, the slave Manon was given as a wedding present and who she has brought with her from the city. The story is centred on Manon and her resentment towards Sarah. Sarah is not only Manon's slave, but also her husband's unwilling mistress and victim. The private drama of the estate is played out against the backdrop of civil unrest and slave rebellion.
- Tim A. Ryan, “Mammy and Scarlett Done Gone: Complications of the Contemporary Novel of Slavery, 1986-2003.” Calls and Responses: The American Novel of Slavery since Gone with the Wind. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2008: 149-84.
- Skidelsky, William (13 May 2012). "The 10 best historical novels". The Observer (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 13 May 2012.
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