Monday, May 9, 2016

The Mapmaker’s Children By SARAH MCCOY

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoyWhen 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. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
   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.

About the Author:
SARAH McCOY is the New York Times bestselling author of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Award Best Historical Fiction nominee The Baker’s Daughter and The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. She calls Virginia home but presently lives with her husband and their dog, Gilbert, in El Paso, Texas.

My Take:
This book was a bit of a challenge to get through. It is a flip flop back and forth between a modern day woman, Eden and a Civil War era woman, Sarah. The house Eden lives in along with a porcelain doll head found in its cellar is the key that ties them together.

I enjoyed the story of Sarah Brown and the part she played in the underground railroad. It was very interesting to read how she drew picture maps for those who needed to know the way to freedom, and used her talents to come up with creative ways to make maps on items other than paper. I also enjoyed the letters she wrote back and forth to Freddy, her friend who was also involved in helping the slaves achieve freedom. Her story is inspiring. She was a selfless, caring, very motivated woman who worked hard to support the cause her father gave his life for.

I was not as impressed with Eden's story. Sometimes flip-flopping back and forth works in a book, but I was distracted with his and finally just read every other chapter to grasp the whole of Sarah's story at one time. Another thing that kind of turned me off was the use of some language in the book that I personally tend to shy away from. Most of the time, I would not choose to read a book with language, but I did not realize this book contained it. The story, itself,  looked quite appealing, as I am intrigued with history and enjoy reading historical novels. This was just not one of those I-can't-put-this-book-down kind of reads for me. Of course, it's all a matter of taste, so others may enjoy the book more than I did.

I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book courtesy of Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

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