I’m torn with this book, as it is both wonderful and also not very good. The story is really two stories in one. One story line follows Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown. We get to read of her struggle learning a sickness has made her unable to bear children, and of her work making maps that would be easier for slaves on the underground railroad to follow. Sarah comes across as intelligent, loving, and full of strength. She never seems to waver in her belief that slavery was wrong, even though that was a unpopular belief and her work with the underground railroad was dangerous.
The second story line follows Eden Anderson, a modern day woman who is struggling with infertility and marital issues. Eden and her husband buy a new home, and Eden finds a doll’s head that dates back to the underground railroad, tying her story to Sarah Browns. The problem I had with the book lies with the chapters relating to Eden and her story. I found her character unlikable, whinny, and selfish. She has a great chip on her shoulder and victim mentality that outweigh any good traits she has. I feel the book would have been much better without this story line and if the author, Sarah McCoy, had focused only on Sarah’s story line.
I should also note there are swear words in the book, for those who choose to avoid books with swearing in them. They add nothing to the story in my opinion.