Posted by Michelle Johanson on Monday, June 9, 2014 - 00:00
So, did you join us in our first OfficeTeam Book Club selection, King Peggy by Peggielene “Peggy” Bartels and Eleanor Herman? We hope you found time for reading and picked up a copy.
King Peggy wasn’t a book on my must-read list, honestly, but it came to me as an Amazon recommendation. I had never heard about her story and thought it seemed interesting. After all, who wouldn’t want to get a surprise phone call one night that you’re suddenly royalty? That’s just what happens to Peggy, an administrative professional working at the Ghana embassy in Washington, D.C.
It’s not long before she’s on a plane back to her hometown of Otuam, Ghana, to assume her new role. Peggy’s soon faced with harsh realities, though. Her “palace” is a home that’s falling apart and uninhabitable. Her village is struggling. There’s rampant corruption among her chief advisors and even relatives. She eventually discovers she was elected king because the male advisors thought she’d be easier to swindle as a woman.
The story has the potential to be very depressing, but it’s not. What keeps you reading is Peggy herself. You can’t help but smile at her tough-as-nails personality – don’t even think of trying to cross her – and her ability to not just get by, but to make a real difference as a king in a very poor village. It's a very compelling story. She’s outspoken and stubborn, which ruffles some feathers as an admin, but serves her well in her other role as a leader. Through a lot of hard work and help from people back in the U.S., she’s able to bring Otuam a reliable source of fresh water and new educational opportunities for children there.
Peggy is able to overcome numerous obstacles and bring about progress to a community, all the while holding down her administrative job in D.C. (And I thought my days were busy!)
After finishing the book, I immediately thought King Peggy would make a great movie. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with that idea! I’ve since read that actor Will Smith has purchased the movie rights and has cast Queen Latifah in the starring role, so watch for the story on the big screen in the future.
So, what did you think of King Peggy? Share your opinions in the comments below.