Island Queen: A Novel Audiobook, by Vanessa Riley Play Audiobook Sample

Island Queen: A Novel Audiobook

Island Queen: A Novel Audiobook, by Vanessa Riley Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Adjoa Andoh Publisher: HarperAudio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 14.17 hours at 1.5x Speed 10.63 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: July 2021 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780063002876

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

20:34 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

10 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

09:50 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Vanessa Riley: > View All...

Publisher Description

“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

A remarkable, sweeping historical novel based on the incredible true life story of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas, a free woman of color who rose from slavery to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful landowners in the colonial West Indies.  Born into slavery on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat, Doll bought her freedom—and that of her sister and her mother—from her Irish planter father and built a legacy of wealth and power as an entrepreneur, merchant, hotelier, and planter that extended from the marketplaces and sugar plantations of Dominica and Barbados to a glittering luxury hotel in Demerara on the South American continent.

Vanessa Riley’s novel brings Doll to vivid life as she rises above the harsh realities of slavery and colonialism by working the system and leveraging the competing attentions of the men in her life: a restless shipping merchant, Joseph Thomas; a wealthy planter hiding a secret, John Coseveldt Cells; and a roguish naval captain who will later become King William IV of England.

From the bustling port cities of the West Indies to the forbidding drawing rooms of London’s elite, Island Queen is a sweeping epic of an adventurer and a survivor who answered to no one but herself as she rose to power and autonomy against all odds, defying rigid eighteenth-century morality and the oppression of women as well as people of color. It is an unforgettable portrait of a true larger-than-life woman who made her mark on history.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

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“Narrator Adjoa Andoh’s versatile voice is the perfect match for this novel…Andoh’s portrayals of Doll’s parents, lovers, children, and racist antagonists provide a diverse sensory experience for the listener…Andoh’s strong interpretation of this tenacious woman is the jewel in the crown for the listener. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

— AudioFile 


  • “Riveting…By turns vibrant and bold and wise, discovering Dorothy’s story is a singular pleasure.”

    — New York Times
  • “Dazzling…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
  • “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
  • “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


  • A Marie Claire Magazine Pick of 2021's Must-Reads
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

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About Vanessa Riley

Vanessa Riley writes historical fiction of dazzling multi-culture communities with powerful persons of color. Her regency romance books include the Advertisements for Love series, the Heart of a Hero series, and A Bittersweet Moment, among others. She earned BS and MS degrees and holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and a master’s in industrial engineering and engineering management from Stanford University.

About Adjoa Andoh

Adjoa Andoh is an Audie Award and Earphones Award–winning narrator and an actress of British film, television, stage, and radio. In 2022, she was awarded the AudioFile Golden Voice Award. She is known on the UK stage for lead roles at the RSC, the National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, and the Almeida Theatre, and she is a familiar face on British television. She made her Hollywood debut starring as Nelson Mandela’s chief of staff, Brenda Mazikubo, alongside Morgan Freeman as Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s Invictus.