I close the pages of my book and stare, once again, at the cover of The Mapmaker's Children. I run my hand over the front, smoothing out any imperfections. And then I release a long sigh of satisfaction. What an amazing story! I sit and ponder all of the research Sarah McCoy must have done in order to tell the story of Sarah Brown, daughter of American abolitionist, John Brown. I felt like it deserved my undivided attention. I read at a slower pace, savoring the story that unfolded. I enjoyed the Little Women vibe it often evoked with me. When I read stories like this, I'm reminded why historical fiction is my favorite genre. McCoy does a brilliant job combining fact with fiction and I was easily transported back to an America divided by slavery, an America that was once North and South, divided by cruelty, greed, race, and hatred. During it all, the character of Sarah Brown remained devoted, loyal, and heroic in her beliefs and through her tireless efforts with the Under Ground Railroad. I was captivated by this portion of McCoy's novel. I found myself looking up real historical dates associated with the story and astonished at the accuracies. Of course, all authors take liberties with facts, trying to piece together bits and pieces, conversations, and relationships. McCoy is believable here, weaving a story that left me heartbroken for Sarah, her family, and those she loved and desperately tried to protect. Sarah Brown was a woman to be admired. She sacrificed so much, often risking her life.
The Mapmaker's Children is told in past and present. I'm not normally crazy about these kind of tales but it works. The stories merge nicely, finding a common thread. Eden Anderson is the main character in the present day story. Initially, I had a hard time identifying with Eden. She's the complete polar opposite of Sarah Brown. Eden faces difficulties in her life with anger, resentment, and an accusing tone. She's very bitter. She could learn a lot from Sarah Brown. And she will! I enjoyed the way the two stories tied in. Very creative and clever! Even a little spooky. Overall, I would recommend this book. I think this book will become a historical fiction fave for all but be prepared to have your heart broken along the way.
*Super special thanks to Sarah McCoy for sending me this incredible book through the AuthorBuzz Shelf Awareness Giveaway. Sarah, you sure know how to package a book. One fun surprise after the other! I promise, I was in no way swayed or bribed. I genuinely liked this book.