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The Hundred Wells of Salaga

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  909 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that turns her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman. Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father's court. These two women's lives converge as infighting among Wurche's people threatens the region, during the height of the ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Cassava Republic Press
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Boakye Alpha Yes, I think it does. From where I have gotten so far, there is the discussion of Slavery and a bit of how the society the book was set in uses Patria…moreYes, I think it does. From where I have gotten so far, there is the discussion of Slavery and a bit of how the society the book was set in uses Patriarchy. At least Wurche felt a bit of the patriarchal system. Aminah suffered at the hands of slavery. For love, I'm not so sure yet.

Now that I am done with the book, I can say love also plays a very important role in th book. From Wurche's 'unusual' love for Fatima her friend to what she and Moro shared to what she felt Aminah at some point. In fact, family love is also paramount. Wurche loved her family regardless of everything. Aminah on the other hand loved Moro and vice versa. She in turn loved Wunpini. The German soldier also loved Wurche. And at the beginning, Aminah believed her father and mother shared some kind of love. Then we talk about the love for power that characterised the internal feud between the royals.

Depending on the kind of love you want, you just have to look and it stares at you in the face in the book.(less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  909 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
A 231 page novel that holds enough ambition for a book twice it's size. The story of Wurche (one of the most complex and stellar protagonists I've read in 2018), and Aminah is one that you will remember for the evils that can be inflicted from within a nation, as well as those from an outsider who happens to be playing nice.

Ayesha Harruna Attah's backlog is a priority.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
!!! full review -

4.5 stars, but rounding up to 5 stars.
Ayesha H. Attah has grown soooo much as a writer and 'The Hundred Wells of Salaga' is proof of her wonderful growth....

full review on book blog -
Dec 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
TW: abuse, violence, rape, slavery, suicide, racism, slut-shaming

Unpopular Opinion Time 🐸☕️

Actual rating: 1.5 ⭐️

Boy oh boy. Grab some sugar because this Rather Random Review™️ is gonna be salty AF and you'll have to balance all this out with some sweetness.

For as much as I appreciated the discussion around internal slavery, and I liked the fact that one of the two main characters was bi, I personally thought this book wasn't great.

Actually, I really hated this book, if I have to be completely h
This is my second book by Ayesa Harran Attah and I am still amazed at her ability to write characters and plots that keeps your invested.

My first introduction to the author was in reading The Deep Blue Between which is a follow up to this book. Yes, I read the sequel before the first book and guess what… I didn’t die. Was a confused? A little.

Set during precolonial Ghana, in The Hundred Wells of Salaga we meet Aminah who lives with her family who she helps to provide for. One day her fathe
i likes that this book showed the slave trades during the time when africa was being “colonized” (taken over!) by white europeans and how both changed the lives of africans.

the author doesn’t shy away from the actual horrors -beatings, rape, even just the trauma being ripped away from your home and dragged way to be sold- and even being owned by a nicer person doesn’t mean that it feels good be owned.

i did find the entire book a bit confusing since the writing style felt almost too young to be
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Hundred Wells of Salaga is the story of Arminah and Wurche, two young women who grow up in vastly different circumstances in West Africa in the late 19th century and whose paths cross. The novel, which tackles topics such as slavery and politics in a way which is rarely covered, is beautifully written. Attah's language is ripe with metaphors and pictures and at the same time, she understands to tell a page-turner story. My only gripe with the book (something I rarely wish for): The book coul ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: african-fiction
I appreciated Attah’s novel for its period details on the lives of the Gonja and Hausa tribes: descriptions of maasa and tuo, design of household spaces, influence of Islam, and inter-tribal politics. This is not a culture / time / place you get many chances to read about! But then... the majority of characters fell flat. Even one of Attah’s protagonists changes little over the course of the story, driven headlong by her own desires into scandal after disaster with little to no personal reflecti ...more
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ayesha Haruna Attah’s The Hundred Wells of Salaga was a story of the African slave trade in Ghana told from the perspective of one woman stolen into slavery and another who, as a royal, both participated in and also benefited from this horror. This book was written with a mind to complex characters and the vagaries of being a kind and complete person in some ways, while also participating in one of the great degradations of human history. I think that this book is an important read for so many r ...more
this was a 3.5 read for me
thoughts coming shortly
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, fiction, ghana
This is a story of two young women coming form very different lives set in pre-colonial Ghana. Aminah is taken from her home and forced to slavery. Once a daydreamer, she becomes a resilient woman after all the hardships she has to endure. Slavery brings her to Wurche, a headstrong and independent princess, who wants to make a difference in her father’s court.

I found it fascinating to learn a little about the conflicts between different tribes, and western influence in Ghana. The story is intere
Wyna Modisapodi
Feb 01, 2021 rated it liked it
I’m so conflicted about this book 🙇🏾‍♀️. I wanted to give it a higher rating , however , it lacked heft in that , it didn’t really explore in great detail the majority of its key themes e.g the role of the local tribes in slave trade , power struggle between the different local tribes , African feminism , Islam ☪️ vs. customary beliefs/gender...The complex relationship between the two main characters, i.e. Wurche and Aminah was also not dealt with deftly. The ending was just rushed and not impac ...more
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I really loved how visual the writing is. It was more like watching a movie than reading a book. An enjoyable read.
Gautam Bhatia
Aug 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ayesha Harruna Attah's The Hundred Wells of Salaga is the story of two women: Aminah, who grows up in the village of Botu, part of a little community that lives under the fear of slaver raids; and Wurche, the daughter of an ambitious local noble who has designs on the throne of Salaga. When Aminah's village is destroyed by raiders, she is forced away from her home and her society, and into a long journey that will take her to Salaga, city of a hundred wells. There, her life will intersect with W ...more
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
-In Botu, Eeyah often talked about "licabili". It was the belief that whatever path you took in life, it would take you where it was supposed to take you.-
The lives of Aminah and Wurche collide as the existence of their respective village and territory are changed by intervening and battling forces. We get a glimpse of the power structure in the region and how power changed between the tribes and how the arrival of the 'white' man charted a new course in the political and economical relatio
Laura Hoffman Brauman
3.5 stars. Historical fiction, set in pre-colonial Ghana, the novel explores the time period by telling the story of two young women - Aminah and Wurche. Aminah has been captured by slave raiders and sold into slavery, Wurche is the daughter of a chief, pushed into a marriage she doesn't want in order to cement an alliance. I enjoyed the storytelling and the characters here. Going into the novel, I knew very little about the history of Ghana and this time period and I appreciated the way the aut ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it

This a really interesting piece of fiction.

Highly recommended.
Jun 03, 2019 marked it as couldn-t-finish
Shelves: african
Giving up fifty pages in. Interesting topic, Lots of information, but the writing is weak.
Coded Reader
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Check out my review on Instagram @codedreader
Book 89 of 2021

3.5 ✨
Nadine in NY Jones
“Salaga is the town of one hundred wells,” said Wurche.

“Why are there so many wells here?” asked Aminah.

“They were built to wash slaves after long journeys,” said Wurche.

Set in pre-colonial Ghana during the time of slave-trading with the Europeans (1892-1897), I appreciate that this is a slice of historical fiction that we don’t see enough of, but this book did not have much else to recommend it for me. This story didn’t draw me the way I’d hoped. I never really cared about the characters,
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book as a portrait of the time in which it's set. Hundred Wells is set in what today we call Ghana in the 1890s century, when slavery was ostensibly illegal but still thriving, and while the European powers were still testing the waters of colonialism. The book doesn't have much in the way of a conventional plot though; it's more of a slice of life. Far more happens to the main characters than because of them. While historically accurate, it doesn't make for a satisfying story.

Equal Opportunity Reader
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like this before, even though all of the elements of it are familiar. There’s a misfit princess, warring nations, a beautiful foreign slave girl, and strange visitors from a faraway land. Characters struggle with unrequited love, confusing sexuality, and mismatched marriages. There are power struggles–both political and personal.
If The Hundred Wells of Salaga was about China or England or colonial America, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. But instead,
Smitha Murthy
A complex, many-layered novel of pre-colonial Ghana, this made me want to seek out more books from Ghana. African literature has always fascinated me and the number of new works coming out from this continent is mind boggling.

In ‘The Hundred Wells of Salaga,’ Attah takes us through two contrasting lives: Aminah, who is forced into slavery, and Wurche from the royal family. While there are many books about slavery, inter-African slavery is rarely spoken about. From that perspective, this is an i
Jun 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book takes place in pre-colonial Ghana. The Lands were full of raids on villages, that were burned to the ground and the survivors taken, to be sold into slavery. The book is comprised of chapters named for 2 different women. The journeys of Aminah a commoner who ends up being sold into slavery, and Wurche a royal, who benefits from the service of slaves, are detailed. The story is an interesting one, in which the Germans and the British have descended. The book is good enough for me to rea ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully rendered story about Werche and Aminah, 2 girls whose lives intersect in pre-colonial Ghana. Attah tells a story of two girls caught in the history of inter-contential slavery in Africa.

Inspired by the story of Attah's grandmother, she uses research to vividly paint the lives of the characters. Food is central to the lives of families.
May 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
While this was an interesting story of Ghana as the Europeans came in and how the tribes were selling each other as slaves, the writing was strange. The beginning was choppy and the end wrapped up too quickly and smoothly. It read like a story I would use in my grade 6 class except there was sex thrown in. Felt unfocussed.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

That was a great story I would have loved to see a finish to Aminah and Moro's story. Thank you for a beautiful story.
Douglas La Rose
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Engrossing and beautiful piece of literature about inter-ethnic relations in pre-colonial Ghana.
Boakye Alpha
Ecocritical Reading of Ayesha Harruna Attah’s “The Hundred Wells of Salaga” by Boakye D. Alpha

I decided to read “Hundred Wells Of Salaga” on a friend’s recommendation. He wouldn’t shut up about Wurche, one of the characters in the book (you will know why later in my review or when you read the book). More so, he was stunned by how historically-infused the book was. I had read from Harruna. Particularly “Harmattan Rain”, and I knew my friend could be right about the history part. I remember obses
Aisha (thatothernigeriangirl)
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it

The Hundred Wells of Salaga, a novel that got its name from the Wells present in pre-1892 Salaga, sets around the stories of Aminah and Wurche. Aminah, reserved and simple, was kidnapped from Botu and forced into internal slavery. The reins of slavery brought her to Wurche, the rebellious princes with royal troubles of her own.
Amidst all these, the quest for power, both from the local chiefs and the foreign powers, fueled various events that destroyed towns (especially Salaga) and strengthened
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