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A Novel of Queen Victoria's Goddaughter
A Perfect 10
William Morrow
ISBN: 978-0-06-314412-5
October 2023

Africa and England - 19th Century

Aina, the youngest daughter of an Egbado king, is, at five years old, taken as a prisoner by a rival leader who murders her entire family. For two long years, she wonders what her fate will be until a British Navy captain rescues her by telling the king that the child will be a gift to Queen Victoria. Changing her name to Sarah Forbes Bonetta (Forbes being the last name of the Royal Navy officer, and Bonetta the name of his ship), the officer presents the child to the queen. 

As the goddaughter of the Queen of Britain, Sarah flourishes, living in Captain Forbes' household, educated along with the family's children, and visiting Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace at the queen's pleasure. Sarah and Princess Alice become good friends, getting into scrapes, and attending royal events. But during all of this complete change to her life, Sarah both hates and loves her African roots. When she is sent to live in a missionary compound in western Africa, Sarah struggles to deal with the horrors she witnessed as a child and is desperate to return to England. After a few years, the queen relents, and Sarah is placed with another English family. All she wants is to find happiness, safety, and a permanent home. 

THE OTHER PRINCESS is a novel based on the life of Queen Victoria's African goddaughter. Sarah is proficient in languages, and music, and wants nothing more but to be accepted and loved. Her life has considerable ups and downs as she navigates between her African roots and her English lifestyle. Beautifully written in Sarah's voice, THE OTHER PRINCESS is impeccably researched. A very enjoyable read, this is a Perfect 10 novel. 

Note: A great-great granddaughter of Sarah's through her second daughter's line was the Ebola heroine Ameyo Adadevoh who prevented the spread of the disease by quarantining "patient zero", despite government pressure.

Jani Brooks 

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