Author(s): Laila Ibrahim
Moments after Lisbeth is born, she s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father. As she grows older, Mattie becomes more like family to Lisbeth than her own kin and the girl s visits to the slaves quarters and their lively and loving community bring them closer together than ever. But can two women in such disparate circumstances form a bond like theirs without consequence? This deeply moving tale of unlikely love traces the journey of these very different women as each searches for freedom and dignity."
Laila Ibrahim spent much of her career as a preschool director, and that, coupled with her experiences as a teacher and her education in developmental psychology and attachment theory, provided ample fodder for the story of Mattie and Lisbeth in Yellow Crocus. In addition to being a writer, Laila is a birth doula and Director of Children and Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. She lives in a small co-housing community in Berkeley, CA, with her wife, Rinda, and two daughters. She is hard at work on her second novel.