Friday, June 26, 2015

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

Published by Crown Publishers

John Brown's body may be a-mouldering but his soul most certainly keeps marching on.
This very interesting novel gives life to two women centuries apart. Our first heroine is Sarah Brown, daughter of Capt. John Brown of abolitionist fame, set in the days surrounding and following his death by hanging in 1859. Sarah's life becomes the main focus every second chapter. Eden Anderson is in some ways Sarah's counterpart in 2014, though she may not realize it. Although the book is written with both stories at once, chapter upon chapter, one chapter Sarah and the next Eden, the story bonds smoothly. The common factors between both women is that they are both barren, both wrestle with this in their everyday lives, both have a connection to the same house in New Charlestown, Virginia.

There is something very compelling about this book. This bit of history seems to have taken on a new relevance today. Despite the hardships, I loved the book. The alternate chapters do not confuse, but meld beautifully between the two women and two centuries. Sarah is an artist and uses her talent in the Underground Railway (UGRR) painting coded maps to guide their 'guests' to the safe-houses along the route. Eden's sorrow over her lost babies drives her, until she makes a discovery about their new home that gives her a welcome boost of energy. Her husband Jack has made arrangements for a young girl next door to assist Eden and between them they bond over many things.

This is such a wonderful novel. It is so smoothly written, so much truth is worked into the story, I am amazed by the entire concept. A story of love, compassion, determination and bonding. This bit of history seems to have taken on a new relevance today. I am so glad I read it, I know I will have to keep my eyes open for more from Sarah McCoy.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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