Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Julie's Review: The Mapmaker's Children

Author: Sarah McCoy
Series: None
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Pages: 320
Obtained: Amazon Vine
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.75/5
Bottom Line: A gorgeous novel with two strong heroines
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: 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. 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. ~powells.com

Review: The Mapmaker's Children is a novel that brings the past and the present together in a wonderful way. Instead of the two main characters being directly related, they are instead woven together by an item. I knew that Eden's journey was going to be a tough one from the get go. My first thought was "she is so angry" and it's not that she didn't have reason but she was dealing with it all wrong. The one thing she's wanted her life for she's struggling to attain and everyone is in her way. I knew that she'd find her way but I was hoping that it wouldn't be too late for her happiness.

It didn't take me long to get wrapped up in either story. For different reasons, I admired both women greatly. Sarah Brown was such an inspiration the way she kept up with her father's goals of abolishing slavery and dedicated herself to the cause. Some would say that she gave up her own personal happiness but I disagree because helping the Underground Railroad (UGRR) was her destiny. Her paintings and her genius of how to incorporate them to free the slaves changed the course of history.

Eden's journey wasn't so direct as Sarah's. She was lost and wasn't so sure of her path at this point in her life. It wasn't until a mystery, a young girl and a dog entered her life that she started to find her voice again. It was this mystery that made Eden feel grounded for the first time in years; it lifted her fog, it righted her path.

Ms. McCoy writes both women as strong but vulnerable in different ways. It is the fact that she writes them as someone you can identify with that sucks you into the story. I also loved that I learned some facts about the UGRR that I didn't know.

If you haven't read her other historical fiction, The Baker's Daughter, then that's a must read as well. As for what she writes in the future, I can't wait to read it.



Unknown April 28, 2015 at 4:12 PM  

I am 2/3 into this book Julie and really loving it. Your review is spot on, and the book is a pleasure to read. Sarah McCoy has a gift for bringing out feelings in her characters. As a reader I feel as if I can understand them so intimately.

Julie April 28, 2015 at 4:18 PM  

You can tell she pours her heart and soul into her books. Enjoy the rest!

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