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.
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.
I was so excited to read this book, however I found myself let down. I know I am among the minority in my feelings.
As you know from my reviews I am worn out with the alternating narratives of past and present. Fully aware alternating narratives will not be disappearing anytime soon, however, when they work they are terrific, when they fail, they take down the entire story.
I liked Sarah, I liked her story. Sarah and her family – crusaders against slavery fight with all their might. Their strength, sacrifices along with determination create a fascinating read. In fact the whole entire book could have focused on Sarah and her family and it would have been perfect. Fabulous historical references hold the reader’s attention. By far the crux of the book was the Brown’s and their firm stance and ultimate goal.
Admittedly I wasn’t a fan of Eden. I understand her frustration with infertility but my gosh could she try to be a little kinder and a littler stronger. Right off the bat she is angry and defeated, not exactly gaining fans. Such a disparity between the two – Eden pales in comparison to the stellar Sarah. Precocious young Cleo teaches Eden a few lessons, thank goodness. Cleo steals the show to some degree along with Cricket the canine wingman.
Personally, if McCoy erased Eden taking another direction we would have a great book, as is it failed to stir me. Cleo and Cricket along with Sarah and her family kept me turning the pages hoping for so much more.
No doubt the audience disagrees with me and found much more throughout the narrative and characters than I did.
To enter to win a hardcover copy of The Mapmaker’s Children please complete the giveaway form below. US residents only. Ends 6/3/15
•Hardcover, 320 pages
•Published May 5th 2015 by Crown