I received a free copy for my honest review.
About the Book:
• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Crown (May 5, 2015)
When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.
Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.
About the Author:
SARAH McCOY is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of The Baker’s Daughter, a 2012 Goodreads Choice Award Best Historical Fiction nominee; the novella “The Branch of Hazel” in Grand Central; The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico; and The Mapmaker’s Children (Crown, May 5, 2015).
Her work has been featured in Real Simple, The Millions, Your Health Monthly, Huffington Post and other publications. She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. She calls Virginia home but presently lives with her husband, an Army physician, and their dog, Gilly, in El Paso, Texas. Sarah enjoys connecting with her readers on Twitter at @SarahMMcCoy, on her Facebook Fan Page or via her website, www.sarahmccoy.com.
I am so very torn with this book; it’s really two stories in one as the author ties the present to the past by way of the town in which the novel takes place. The book alternates chapters between the story of Sarah Brown, daughter of the abolitionist John Brown and Eden, a woman living in the current era who likes to whine.
I loved the chapters that shared the story of Sarah Brown. This brilliant young woman was unknown to me and I’m glad that I’ve now learned about her. I’m going to try and find something else to read about her. She was strong in her convictions at a time when it was very dangerous to hold them. Ms. McCoy really brings her to life as she grows from a child to a woman.
On the other hand Eden, a fictional character doesn’t come across as well. She is selfish and only concerned with how the world has wronged her. Her way of dealing with life just doesn’t ring true to me. I really didn’t care about the chapters that took place in the present. I couldn’t connect to any of the characters in this half of the book. They all seemed a little one note where the historical characters were far more developed.
I appreciate the intent to tie the past to the present but for me it just didn’t work. I would have been happier reading a fictionalized tale of Sarah Brown and her life without all of the bits of this and that brought in from the future.
Chapters from the past 5, Chapters from the present 2 Overall Rating: 3.5
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