Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

Title: The Mapmaker's Children
Author: Sarah McCoy
Format: ARC
Publisher: Crown
Publish Date: May 5, 2015
Source: Borrowed

What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

"The Mapmaker's Children" is a historical fiction tale focuses on two women, one in the past and one in the present. These women are connected by secrets hidden in an old house in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Sarah Brown, daughter of the famous abolitionist John Brown, is a woman before her time. She is brave and courageous. She gets involved with the Underground Railroad even though it could mean that her life is in danger. Eden and her husband are looking for a fresh start and buy an old house to fix up. She will find a hidden past that will take her on a great journey.

Historical fiction set in the past and the present is starting to grow on me because of books like this. Usually I like the parts of the books that are set in the past better than the parts set in the present. In the case of this book, I liked the part set in the present. I felt like I had something in common with Eden. I live in a really old house as well (not nearly as old as the one Eden has - mine was probably built in the 1890s). I liked the descriptions of her discoveries in her house because I always wished that I could find some connection to the past in my own house. I also liked getting to "meet" Sarah Brown through this book. I only really knew something about her father because of his rebellion but it was so interesting to see what she was up to and how she was making a difference on her own.

This is Sarah McCoy's third book. One thing that I have liked about this book as well as her previous books is how intimately you feel like you get to know her characters. Her books are always cozy because the characters begin to feel more like friends than mere characters. She also loads her stories with interesting secondary characters that hold pieces of the story in a way that demands a reader's attention. Her distinctive writing style is also present in this book!


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