This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

Close cookie details

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav

King Peggy

Cover of King Peggy

King Peggy

An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village
Borrow Borrow Borrow
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...
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...
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • Adobe EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Reading Level:

Recommended for you


 
Description-
  • 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.
Excerpts-
  • Chapter One


    When the council meeting ended at six, the sun was just rising and the world outside was silver. The elders returned to their fields to do some work before the day became too hot. Peggy went to her room to rest a bit and saw a line of children with heavy metal buckets of water on their heads trudging down the path from the bore hole behind the house. Some of them were headed for her kitchen.

    Auntie Esi stood next to Peggy as she gazed out the window. "How far do they walk?" Peggy asked.

    "There are only two bore holes, so the kids that live furthest away have to walk about a half hour in each direction."

    "An hour for a single bucket," Peggy said quietly.

    "And some kids make two or three trips before and after school. Some walk for six hours a day."

    "Is the water clean at least?"

    Auntie Esi shrugged. "It's not clean if you haul it from the pond. That water is a yellowish-brown, and that's what the entire town had to use when the pipes first broke in 1977. But the local government representatives built two bore holes shortly after that which provide very clean water, though it costs money. A few pennies a bucket."

    Peggy scowled. "You mean they charge for clean water?"

    Auntie Esi nodded. "The pumps break down a lot, so they use the money to pay for repairs."

    "And the people who can't afford the bore hole water drink the yellowish-brown water?"

    Auntie Esi nodded again. "They don't get sick from it, though. For hundreds of years before the British brought piped water, people in Otuam got all their water from the pond. Many believe the goddess of the pond purifies the water and keeps them healthy."

    Peggy sighed, a deep sigh that came from the soul and rumbled through her entire body. Evidently the pond contained one of the seventy-seven gods and goddesses known to protect Otuam. But even so, no American king could allow her people to drink that disgusting water. And besides, it was well known that sometimes nature gods and goddesses left their ancient spots without a word of warning. If the goddess left, those drinking the water would sicken and even die. She would have to get those kids more bore holes, free bore holes, and eventually fix the pipes. How on earth was she going to afford it?

    Auntie Esi put her weathered hand on Peggy's shoulder. "You will fix the water later," she said. "Remember the sparrow, who builds her nest one twig at a time. We are going to eat breakfast now, and after that we are going to give you your first royal etiquette lesson. You don't want to disgrace the stool by doing something inappropriate for a Ghanaian king." After breakfast, the aunties taught Peggy how to walk majestically. A king, they said, was never to show any hurry. The whole world waited for a king. Flapping around here and there like a chicken was undignified.

    Auntie Esi strolled at a glacial pace down the hall, head up, shoulders back. "Like this, Nana. You bounce around too much and go too fast."

    "In the US, if I walked that slowly I would be hit by a car," Peggy pointed out. "No one there would wait for me to cross the street. They would run me down, and as I bounced on the asphalt they would keep on going so they wouldn't be late for a meeting."

    Auntie Esi smiled. "But there are very few cars in Otuam, and here they wouldn't run over their king. Try it again, slowly."

    Peggy sighed. Give just a hint of a smile, they said, showing regal serenity. Shoulders relaxed. Head held high. Chin up. Slow, straight, determined steps. Self-consciously, she walked back and forth in front of them, like an awkward aspiring...

About the Author-
  • PEGGIELENE BARTELS was born in Ghana in 1953 and moved to Washington, DC, in her early twenties to work at Ghana's embassy. She became an American citizen in 1997. In 2008, she was chosen to be king of Otuam, a Ghanaian village of 7,000 people on the west coast of Africa. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, still works at the embassy, and spends several weeks each year in Ghana.

    ELEANOR HERMAN is the author of three books of women's history, including the New York Times bestseller Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen. Her profile of Peggy was a cover story for the Washington Post Magazine. She lives in McLean, Virginia.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • Adobe EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Bookshelf to manage your titles.

×

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Bookshelf?

×

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are permitted to recommend at this time.

×

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

×
×

×

To recommend King Peggy, complete the following information:

*indicates required information

(comma separates multiple email addresses, i.e. bob@aol.com, bob@hotmail.com)

Subject: Check out this downloadable title at the Lackawanna County Library System


We respect your privacy. Any and all information collected at this site will be kept strictly confidential and will not be sold, reused, rented, loaned, or otherwise disclosed.

×
Recommend this title to the library to be added to the Digital Collection
King Peggy
King Peggy
An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village
Peggielene Bartels
×
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
King Peggy
King Peggy
An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village
Peggielene Bartels
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title now.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
×
×

To recommend '', complete the following information:

*indicates required information

(comma separates multiple email addresses, i.e. bob@aol.com, bob@hotmail.com)

Subject: Check out this downloadable title at the Lackawanna County Library System

We respect your privacy. Any and all information collected at this site will be kept strictly confidential and will not be sold, reused, rented, loaned, or otherwise disclosed.

×