Cast of Characters

The strength of The Fruits of Atterley lies in the compelling nature of its subject matter and the complexities of its colorful characters:

Zachary Riley: “had become a wise investor in human capital through a long process of trial and error. At slave auctions, he now preferred to buy entire families if at all possible. The Negro race was inherently unstable and had the passions of beasts. He had discovered that splitting up their households was wrought with inefficiencies.”

Rebecca Riley: “was a founding member of the All Saints Ladies Benevolence Society and the Winyah Anti-Dueling Association. Her father and brothers had impressed upon her the importance of gentle sensibilities in the fairer sex, and so she took advantage of every opportunity to extend kindness to the less fortunate.”

Hannah: “studied his misshapen head and thin, twisted mouth. Sure is an ugly baby, she thought. But all her life, Hannah had been kin to ugly. The closest her mother had ever come to calling her pretty was to say, ‘You look fine enough, Hannah,’ when she was dressed in her Sunday best, because the Lord’s day demanded absolute obedience to the Scriptures.”

Abraham: “rejected the existence of any god—the white man’s as well as his own. He despised the first, for he believed only an evil creator could have produced such wicked children, and he disdained the impotence of the second. After many unanswered prayers, he had concluded that Allah was unable to prevent the capture and enslavement of those who served him.”

Cora: “had been one of the most popular girls, as had her mother, and her mother’s mother before her. She had gray eyes and chestnut hair that fell luxuriously about her shoulders in loose ringlets. In the darkness, her appearance allowed the gentlemen to pretend that she was a white woman, but afterward, their contempt never let her forget that she was still just another nigger.”

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