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A tale of two sisters

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A tale of two sisters with very different lives is the backbone of a new book by a Bermudian author.

Unevenly Yoked is the story of Eve and Ruth, non-identical twin children of a black father and white mother who were separated while young, and their personal battles to come to terms with racial identity and religion.

Eve is brought up by their pastor father as black and light-skinned Ruth inhabits a white world with her mother — until both go in search of the other half of their identity.

The author, Sloane Johnson, who is a policy analyst with the Government, said: “The idea for the book came from a co-worker who suggested that I write about the struggles of a wedded couple who are unevenly yoked.

“But I started to think about all the other ways we could be unevenly yoked with someone.

“With everything else that is going on around us in the world, the race and religion pieces just fell into place once I had a main concept.”

Eve struggles with abandonment by her mother and the problem of living in a strict religious environment — and the knowledge that her resentment puts her “salvation at risk”.

Ruth, brought up as white, is aware of her privilege and is on a mission to discover her African heritage and gain acceptance, but “must first overcome the burning hatred towards my father for his refusal to accept me and the Church that supports his betrayal”.

Ms Johnson said: “The book makes the reader take a hard look at how they themselves interact every day within the scope of race and religious stigma.

“The writing definitely pushes some boundaries and it's bound to hit a few buttons, but it's real.”

Ms Johnson has written two other books, an erotic work, Bitter Sweet, and a family book about multigenerational traditions, Twas the Week Before Christmas — A Bermuda Tale.

She said: “Writing is an escape; it's calming. I enjoy creating the characters, interweaving their lives and getting lost in their experiences.”

But Ms Johnson admitted she hit writer's block before she met author Brooklyn Knight at a workshop she organised as part or her job in economic development.

Ms Knight introduced her to the “16 Weeks to Publish” programme, which rekindled her desire to write again.

Ms Johnson said she was already working on Love Is, based on true events and scheduled for publication in November.

She hopes to publish a new book every three months.

Ms Johnson will join Ms Knight and two other Bermuda authors from the workshop to release their books on the same day.

Ms Knight's book is called Metal Monkey, Areille Abiona's is Her Seventh Summer and Armetia Apopa's is The Truth Unlocked.

“The books will be unveiled on July 31 at The Griot Book Store on Parliament Street.

The e-book version of Unevenly Yoked is $4.99 and print copies will be on sale on Amazon at $12.99

Passion for writing: Sloane Johnson
Unevenly Yoked by Sloane Johnson (Photograph supplied)

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Published June 22, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated June 22, 2020 at 8:29 am)

A tale of two sisters

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