• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird

Bird does an excellent job of keeping up the tension and making clear the high stakes of Williams’s enormous secret in this story, which is based on the life of a real female Buffalo Soldier.

Bird's Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen is based on the story of an actual female Buffalo Soldier, Cathy Williams, with many liberties taken for the sake of shaping a story.


I was happy to suspend my disbelief at the many conveniently outlandish circumstances or coincidences—which led key characters to cross unlikely paths, caused characters to avoid making important discoveries until the timing was more convenient to the arc of the tale, or set events essential to a resolution in a magical otherworld to allow imagined outcomes.


Bird does an excellent job of keeping up the tension and making clear the high stakes of Williams’s enormous secret and the destruction that would befall her if it came out.


She explores in fascinating detail the hardscrabble life of a newly freed black person—and the often desperate circumstances of women (especially black women) without men to protect them at the time. The major and minor love stories are sweet if tragic on multiple levels.

Any Bossy thoughts on this book?

Bird is also the author of Above the East China Sea, about two teenaged girls, an American and an Okinawan, whose lives are connected across seven decades and across the world.


Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen was mentioned in the Greedy Reading List Six Historical Fiction Books I Loved Over the Past Year.