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Strom, evangelical Christian author of 34 books and an activist against modern slavery, takes an indirect approach to calling attention to that issue with her newest fiction title, the first of three planned in the Grace in Africa series, set in West Africa in 1787. Strom's protagonist, Grace Winslow, the daughter of an English sea captain and an African princess, aligns herself with her father's slaves. Young adult Grace is promised in marriage to a pompous, offensive white man and even Grace's mother (who endured the same fate, having been forced to marry for political reasons) colludes with Grace's father in this scheme. Grace, realizing she is just as much a slave as her full African counterparts, runs away and discovers a new life and a better reason for living. She also has her eyes opened to the atrocities that have surrounded her for years. Strom's fictional account of the battle at the fortress of Zulina between the slaves and their masters is mostly believable, though some of the dialogue sounds a bit stilted. Strom does succeed in capturing how utterly reprehensible any form of slavery is, past or present. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.