About the Book:
Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who stayed in Springfield, Kentucky, when anyone with means had fled. A man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions. Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She’s determined to find a way to buy Louis’s freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she’ll face an uphill battle.
Based partly on a true story, Ann H. Gabhart’s latest historical novel is a tour de force. The vividly rendered town of Springfield and its citizens immerse readers in a story of courage, betrayal, and honor that will stick with them long after they turn the last page.
Ann Gabhart pens a painful look back at our past when not all were considered equal. To entertain the opposite thought, as a person of color could bring punishment or death; as a white, it could mean ostracization or physical danger as well.
Gabhart’s narrative begins in the summer of 1833 when a cholera epidemic ran rampant around much of the US. Seven-year-old Adria Starr watches as her father, mother, and brother all die from the disease. Louis, a slave whom she has never before seen, rescues her and helps Matilda nurse Adria back to health.
Louis is an amazing character. I love the way he trusts God, cares for others at risk to his own safety and does not seek the best in life for himself.
Matilda longs for freedom but also possesses a very strong faith. Over and over, her response to obstacles is the faith-filled refrain, “The Lord will provide.”
I love the way Adria, Ruth, Will, Carlton, and even Logan all show character development and great wrestling with life decisions. All have to decide what they will do with the question of slavery and how deeply will they get involved. What cost is each willing to pay to address the flowing tide that refuses to be ignored or dammed up? Who will find physical redemption and who will find redemption for his soul?
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand some of the soul-searching times leading up to the Civil War. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. No positive review was required. All opinions are strictly my own.
About the Author:
Ann H. Gabhart