The Thomas Bethune Story

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Read Eighth Wonder!

The Story of the Black Mozart
Award-winning writer A.M. Cal’s debut book, the true story of a blind slave baby deemed useless and left to die in a sweltering smokehouse who begins playing Mozart at the age of three.

Known Throughout the world as Blind Tom, the odd boy slave becomes the first bondservant invited to perform in the White House during dangerous times. By 1861, his fame is so great, there are rumors that Abraham Lincoln is considering kidnapping him for the abolitionist cause-a threat leading to his escape with his master, Colonel Bethune, to Europe.

This Riveting 19th century tale is told through the eyes of Colonel Bethune, the financially troubled aristocrat who saves the baby slave from certain death and earns a fortune from his talents. Caught between the traditions of the South and the force of change erupted by abolitionists, the Colonel and Thomas, master and slave prodigy, desperately need one another for survival in a world bent on tearing them apart long after slavery ends.

John Davis, Pianist (Blind Tom CD): “Anita Cal’s novel, Eighth Wonder, is a welcome addition to the mounting body of artistic works inspired by the improbable life and career of Thomas Wiggins, the 19th-century African-American pianist/composer more popularly known as “Blind Tom”…I found it absolutely riveting.”

Susan M Wyler, author of Solsbury Hill: “Eighth Wonder is a deeply personal telling of the imagined everyday life of Thomas Bethune, a blind autistic slave and music prodigy in the nineteenth century. A.M. Cal’s passionate telling of a tortured time in American history is rich with heart. With vivid details of place and character…set in the tragic institution of slavery. Eighth Wonder is a fascinating, well-told story and a journey you’ll never forget.”

Self-EEighth Wonder has been accepted into Library Journal’s curated SELF-e collections! As a featured selection, it will be shared with subscribing libraries all over the country on BiblioBoard Library.