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A tour-de-force from three-time National Book Award finalist Rita Williams-Garcia, this story of an antebellum plantation—and the enduring legacies of slavery upon every person who lives there—is essential reading for both teens and adults grappling with the long history of American racism.

1860, Louisiana. After serving as mistress of Le Petit Cottage for more than six decades, Madame Sylvie Guilbert has decided, in spite of her family’s objections, to sit for a portrait.

While Madame plots her last hurrah, stories that span generations—from the big house to out in the fields—of routine horrors, secrets buried as deep as the family fortune, and the tangled bonds of descendants and enslaved.

This astonishing novel from award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia about the interwoven lives of those bound to a plantation in antebellum America is an epic masterwork—empathetic, brutal, and entirely human.


  • Publisher: Quill Tree Books (May 25, 2021)
  • A Sitting in St James by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Language: English
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • ISBN-13: 9780062367297
  • Reading Age: 16 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 11 - 12
  • Item Weight: 1.42 pounds
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
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