When 19-year-old Abeona Browne’s renowned abolitionist father Jon Browne dies in summer of 1860, devastating family secrets are revealed, and her life of privilege and naiveté in Southern Michigan becomes a frantic transatlantic search for answers—and someone she didn’t even know existed.
Still in mourning, Abeona sneaks aboard the ship carrying her father’s attorney Terrence Swifte and his assistant Djimon—a young man with his own secrets—on a quest to Africa to fulfill a dying wish.
Along the journey, Abeona learns of her father’s tragic and terrible past through a collection of letters intended for someone he lost long ago.
Passage to the Dark Continent is fraught with wild beasts, raging storms, illness, and the bounty hunters who know Jon Browne’s diaries are filled with damning secrets which threaten the very anti-slavery movement he helped to build.
Can Abeona overcome antebellum attitudes and triumph over her own fears to right the wrongs in her famous family’s sordid past?
So named for an African proverb, A Thin Porridge is a Homeric tale of second chances, forgiveness, and adventure that whisks readers from the filth of tweendecks, to the treachery of Cameroons Town, across the beauty of Table Bay, and deep into the heart of the fynbos—where Boer miners continue the outlawed scourge of slavery.
DANGLING FROM THE TAFFRAIL above infernal autumn seas, Abeona Browne’s precious seconds comprised of three thoughts: pitiless mitts digging her slender fingers and wrists; silent glide of shark under moonlit murk below; and thrum of life which beat in her ears as had her delicate palms on the African drum she bought the day her father died. ~ Seven weeks earlier, before the secrets, the lying, the broken bones and blood, the girl rose in the house of fey determined to break the spell of bleak and heartsick lonesome. Her father had been ill for some months. So she decided that fine summer day he might be stirred from his present languor by some preferred confection and perhaps a nice gift. In truth, Abeona Browne was the only city soul of consequence yet unaware of the great Jon Browne’s imminent demise. There was nothing deceitful about hoping for the best. Still, the old man’s words rang in her skull a fire bell. “Is it true?” That’s what her father, could he have spoken, would have asked. The query beat upon her brain as accusation
Thank you, Benjamin J. Gohs and Love Books Group
About the author
Benjamin J. Gohs is a longtime award-winning news editor whose investigative journalism has included stories of murder, sex-crime, historical discovery, corruption, and clerical misconduct. Benjamin now divides his time between writing literary thrillers and managing the community newspaper he co-founded in 2009.