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by Sarah McCoy
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Baker's Daughter, a story of family, love, and courage
When Sarah Brown, daughter of ...
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The Mapmaker’s Children explores the lives of the family of Reverend John Brown, the abolitionist, after he was hung for his role in the massacre at Harper’s Ferry and his efforts to relocate and defend both freed and owned slaves. While the most of the details of the story were fictional, the author certainly did her homework in creating the essence of opposing lifestyles and beliefs during the few years leading up to the civil war and after. With three of her siblings killed during the battle at Harper’s Ferry and her father captured, Sarah Brown accepts her promise to her father to further his work in whatever way she can. She is obviously not a soldier and not a fighter but she is a good artist. Her efforts to create concealed maps that would help direct and bring about the first steps towards freedom for many was both courageous and admirable. Unable to have children of her own, Sarah finds satisfaction in giving continued life to others in her service to humanity. I enjoyed that you can search Sarah and her family and put faces to the names.
This book also has a modern story co-mingled with Sarah’s story of the mid-late 1800’s. Eden and her husband purchase an old house once occupied by the Brown family. Eden, like Sarah, finds herself unable to successfully conceive and carry a child. Like Sarah, Eden must search to find purpose and contentment in a world full of disappointment and discouragement.
I felt the story ended rather abruptly and left some items hanging – or at least some loose ends. For the most part, I found the book entertaining and it gave good insight to a time when people had principles and understood the value of commitment.
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