Aminata Diallo is born in Bayo, Africa. It is the late 1700's when she is stolen from her village, taken away from her family and everything she knows by slave traders. She is 11 years old, afraid and alone. Aminata survives a horrendous ocean crossing to the colonies. She is auctioned as a slave to an indigo plantation. The first friend she makes is Georgia who nurses her back to good health and takes her under her wing. Aminata helped her mid wife mother catch babies and now helps Georgia. Another slave that is in charge secretly teaches her to read and write and this dramatically changes her life. She moves on to other towns and eventually escapes to live on her own. Being educated makes Aminata unique. Her compassion and love brings her many friendships and relationships that are both surprising and heartfelt. Her journey through her life is astounding. The people places and events she survives make this novel one you cannot put down. The reader is brought deep into Aminata's life and this is a book you are sad to finish. It isn't often I find a story so touching and a character I can connect with that lived hundreds of years ago. Ah ..... if this was a movie (and I would bet that it will be) I think Aminata could be played by Queen Latifah. I say this because I think of her in Secret Life of Bees and find her to easily fit into this smart strong loving female role.