Every now and then a book comes along that is to touching and so beautifully done that it makes you want to hold it close to you and weep. This is how I felt about Sarah McCoy’s THE MAPMAKER’S CHILDREN.
In this novel, modern day Eden moves to an old house in New Charleston, W.V. Her story parallels another story of that house in a different time: as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Sarah Brown is the daughter of abolitionist John Brown and she makes maps for slaves moving north to seek freedom. Sarah is a complex character and struggles with her own physical and emotional limitations while bravely working to bring families to freedom. Eden, meanwhile, is struggling to come to terms with her relationship with her husband and the trials they have faced with infertility. Eden finds a doll’s head under the kitchen floorboards which starts her on a quest to find out more about the house. Add in a precocious young neighbor and a cute puppy, and Eden reaches the point where she must decide whether she will embrace life, or continue to live in self-doubt.
I just loved this book. I always love Sarah’s writing and this was no exception. She has an amazing ability to capture setting so that you feel the time and place; she captures character as well and you feel you really know these people. Eden’s and Sarah’s stories are woven together seamlessly.
Highly recommended! Sarah will be at the Concord Bookshop on May 7 and my calendar is marked!
Thank you, Net Galley and Crown Books, for my review copy!!
Find this book at an indie near you – it publishes in early May. (I am an Indie Bound affiliate):
Find it at an Indie!
Today I’m thrilled to be part of the HF Virtual Book Tours blog tour for the promotion of the book THE GOLDEN PATHWAY by Donna M. McDine and illustrated by K. C. Snider.
This story is written for children and is about a young boy’s experience during the Civil War. Young David lives in a violent home, and he befriends his family’s slave, Jenkins. One night he gets a chance to help Jenkins escape on the Underground Railroad. Will he take the risk to help his friend?
This is a very short story — picture book style and less than 20 pages. The copy I read was a hardcover/library binding edition. I kept thinking how this would be a wonderful edition to the classroom: David’s story is a great jumping off point to start to discuss the Civil War, slavery, the Underground Railroad, and basic human rights. It is aimed at younger elementary-aged readers, and I plan to have my children read it as a way to start a discussion on slavery and the Civil War (which they’ve learned about some in school, but still find puzzling and highly disturbing).
Author Donna McDine is an award-winning author with several books to her credit. You can read more about her at http://www.donnamcdine.com. THE GOLDEN PATHWAY is published by Guardian Angel Publishing.
Thank you, Amy, for making me part of your book tour!
Another Net Galley ARC that I downloaded for my Kindle was “Tomorrow’s Sun” by Becky Melby. In this novel Emily Foster is a young woman who is haunted by the tragic events of a past skiing accident – an accident for which she blames herself. To make money and to help herself heal, she decides to fix up and sell a house she has purchased. However, Emily is unprepared for what she finds: an old Underground Railroad stop with letters from the 1860’s. Emily is also unprepared for the feelings she begins to have for her contractor, Jake Braden. Emily’s story mirrors the story of the house in the 1860’s.
I enjoyed reading this novel, which would be considered a romance with a touch of historical fiction in it. It also had a strong Christian element in it, especially in the second half of the book (it seems I’ve gotten a lot of books with Christian themes in them lately!). Most of the story worked for me – though I will admit to finding Jak’es brother-in-law a bit too much of a villain, and I found it an awfully big coincidence that Becky had met Jake in the distant past as a teen. All in all, though, I love a historical mystery and a happy ending!
Thanks Net Galley and Barbour Publishing, Inc. for my copy!