As the blogger and photographer behind Living Outside the Stacks, I independently select and write about stuff I love and things I think you’ll enjoy too. Living Outside the Stacks has affiliate and advertising partnerships so I get revenue from sharing this content and from your purchase. Thank you for your support.

Audiobook Review The American Queen Pinterest 3 {living outside the stacks} #BookReview #NetGalley #TheAmericanQueen #VanessaMiller

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free audio version of this book for review. 


Title: The American Queen

Author: Vanessa Miller

Narrator: Angel Pean

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: 30 January 2024

Genre: Christian, Women’s Literature, American History, African American Literature

Format: Audiobook

Listening Time: 9 hours and 53 minutes

Audiobook Review The American Queen Pinterest 2 {living outside the stacks} #BookReview #NetGalley #TheAmericanQueen #VanessaMiller

ABOUT THE BOOK (from the book)

There is only one known queen who truly ruled a kingdom on American soil.

Transformative and breathtakingly honest, The American Queen is based on actual events that occurred between 1865 – 1889 and shares the unsung history of a Black woman who built a kingdom as a refuge for the courageous people who dared to dream of a different way of life. As seen on Good Morning America: GMA 15 New Books to Read!

Over the twenty-four years she was enslaved on the Montgomery Plantation, Louella learned to feel one thing: hate. Hate for the man who sold her mother. Hate for the overseer who left her daddy to hang from a noose. Hate so powerful there’s no room in her heart for love, not even for the honorable Reverend William, whom she likes and respects enough to marry.

But when William finally listens to Louella’s pleas and leads the formerly enslaved people off the plantation, Louella begins to replace her hate with hope. Hope that they will find a place where they can live free from fear. Hope that despite her many unanswered prayers, she can learn to trust for new miracles.

Soon, William and Louella become the appointed king and queen of their self-proclaimed Kingdom of the Happy Land. And though they are still surrounded by opposition, they continue to share a message of joy and goodness–and fight for the freedom and dignity of all.

The American Queen weaves together themes of love, hate, hope, trust, and resilience in the face of great turmoil. With every turn of the page, you will be transported to a pivotal period in American history, where oppressed people become extraordinary heroes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from her website)

Vanessa Miller is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, playwright, and motivational speaker. She started writing as a child, spending countless hours either reading or writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels. Vanessa’s creative endeavors took on new meaning in1994 when she became a Christian. Since then, her writing has been centered on themes of redemption, often focusing on characters facing multi-dimensional struggles.

Vanessa’s novels have received rave reviews, with several appearing on Essence Magazine’s Bestseller’s List. Miller’s work has receiving numerous awards, including “Best Christian Fiction Mahogany Award” and the “Red Rose Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction.” Miller graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication. She is an ordained minister in her church, explaining, “God has called me to minister to readers and to help them rediscover their place with the Lord.”

Keep up with Vanessa Miller on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter {X}.

ABOUT THE NARRATOR (from her website)

Angel Pean is an actor who thrives on the power of storytelling and being a part of impactful projects that leave their mark. She made her way from Houston, TX to NYC to attend the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. There, she obtained a degree in Film & TV Performance.

Angel has had the pleasure of training with several coaches and actors, including Jay R. Goldenberg, Maury Ginsberg, and Ruth Nerken. Since graduating, she has been cast in various short films and web series’, including ‘Generation Hack’, directed by Matthew L. Hahn, and ‘Aromatherapy ER’, directed by Pablo Andreu. She also placed first in an international monologue competition, judged by NYC and L.A. casting directors.

In her free time, you’ll certainly find her either narrating a book, dancing, or lounging around with her cat! Angel currently resides in Atlanta, GA, where she is continuing to audition, work, and hone her craft

For more information about Angel Pean, visit her website.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Daenel Vaughn-Tucker (@daenelt)

Four-Star Read

While the Happy Land was ruled by a king and a queen, I would argue that it was Queen Louella who was the driving force behind the creation of the Happy Land. Vanessa Miller did an exceptional job of writing Queen Louella as a strong woman with a dream and desire for more. As with most movements {I’m looking at you, Civil Rights Movement}, it is the women who are the organizers and force behind getting stuff done. And Queen Louella and her lady friends were dedicated to making sure things got done. Although, there were points where I was like, Louella, girl, you’re gonna get your man hurt or killed, I really enjoyed reading about this strong woman who refused to settle.

This story is full of love of self, family, and friends, with just enough romance to keep things interesting. I grieved with Queen Louella through her familial losses and celebrated with her through each triumph. I love how she was singularly focused on creating a community where everyone was treated with dignity and respect. From the offset, she made each person state what they could bring to the community. The stated mantra of the Happy Land was ‘All for one and one for all.’ Everyone in the Happy Land contributed to the whole, which created a self-sufficient community that thrived despite the hardships that many African Americans faced in the post-Civil War South.

Overflowing with faith and hope, this is a definite must-read for anyone who’s interested in American history. Queen Louella is a woman to be acknowledged and honored, for who she was, American royalty. Her selfless dedication to her people is to be applauded and remembered.


Angel Pean did an excellent job of narrating this story. Her voice was emotive and smooth. This is one of those books that works really well as an audiobook. In fact, I’d suggest the audiobook over a paperback because there are a few sections in the book where Queen Louella’s singing is mentioned and your mental voice just doesn’t do it justice. Hearing Angel give voice to the hymns is priceless.

Recommended For…

YA and faith-based book groups. I’d also recommend this book for reading groups interested in American history, diversity, and women’s issues. This book could also be used as a supplemental reading for an American history course.

Trigger Warnings

Racism, murder, child loss, and other injustices and violence associated with slavery.


Audiobook Review The American Queen Twitter {living outside the stacks} #BookReview #NetGalley #TheAmericanQueen #VanessaMiller

Have you listened to this book? What are your thoughts? Let’s discuss in the comments below. If you haven’t, feel free to purchase the book using the link below.


If you purchase using this link, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

BOOKISH THINGS – Shop for books selected by me, for you!

Goodreads – Click here to see what I’m currently reading and/or listening to.

NetGalley Professional Reader – I receive free ARCs from NetGalley to review on my blog and share on Instagram.

Reese’s Book Club: The Shelf Life – Subscribe to Reese’s Book Club newsletter and find out about all sorts of fun bookish finds, such as comfy pillows, bookmarks, scented candles, and more.

Storygraph – Let’s share our TBR Shelves.


Audiobook Review The American Queen Facebook 3 {living outside the stacks} #BookReview #NetGalley #TheAmericanQueen #VanessaMiller

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you enjoyed this post and learned something new. If you like what you read, please consider sharing this post on Facebook or X {formerly known as Twitter}. You can also share on Pinterest.

While I pay for many of the items I share on this blog out of my own pocket, some items are gifted to me {I always disclose those items}. Feel free to click on any of my affiliate links and look around; even if you don’t purchase anything, I appreciate the clicks.

Thanks for reading,

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





Follow Me on Facebook {living outside the stacks} Follow Me on Instagram {@daenelt}Follow Me on Pinterest {@daenelt}







Click Here to See Where I Link Up