Island Queen

Product Details
$29.99  $27.89
Harper Large Print
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 2.2 inches | 1.8 pounds

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About the Author

In addition to being a novelist, Vanessa Riley holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and a master's in industrial engineering and engineering management from Stanford University. She also earned BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Penn State University. She currently juggles mothering a teen, cooking for her military-man husband, and speaking at women's and STEM events. She loves baking her Trinidadian grandma's cake recipes and collecting Irish crochet lace. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her porch in Georgia, with a cup of Earl Grey tea. Riley lives in Atlanta.


"There's a beautiful intimacy in Dorothy's first-person narration both in substance and expression...Though the story is epic in sweep, its genius lies in its revelation of Dolly's heroism and her flaws within that subjective voice...Riley does a brilliant job." -- New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

"Dazzling...compelling...Riley combines in-depth research with passionate and frank storytelling, The experiences and achievements of powerful women, especially those whose lives began among the enslaved, are too often overlooked, and Riley's richly engaging novel is a ringing reminder of how much we miss when these stories remain untold." -- Booklist

"This book is not only a one-sitting read, it's a slice of history that needs to be told. Utterly brilliant, powerful, and inspiring." -- Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of Always the Last to Know

"Richly detailed, vividly depicted, and sweeping in scope, Island Queen is historical fiction at its absolute finest. A stunning must-read!" -- Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba

"Island Queen is the magnificently reconstructed life story of Dorothy 'Doll' Kirwan Thomas, whose fascinating legacy of grit and success desperately deserves to be better known. With lush prose and raw emotion, Riley vividly captures the complexity of bringing to life a time of rebellion and possibility." -- New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Dray

"Riveting and transformative, evocative and turns vibrant and bold and wise, discovering Dorothy's story is a singular pleasure." -- New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

"Island Queen is what you would get if you were to drop Olivia Pope and all the men who lusted after her into the 18th Century Caribbean. . . With prose that reads like poetry, Vanessa Riley expertly steers the reader through Dolly's heartbreaking lows all the way into her triumphant emergence as the richest free woman of color in the islands. Passionate, headstrong, and loyal, Riley's version of the real-life Dorothy Kirwan Thomas legend will make readers fall in love with this overlooked 'hidden' queen." -- Kaia Alderson, author of Sisters in Arms

"Riley...delivers a spirited narrative of an enslaved woman turned Caribbean power broker, based on a historical figure...Riley has made a fascinating character out of Dorothy." -- Publishers Weekly