Ummk, this book is going to take me forever to get through because of the interesting true historical people and events Ms. Jenkins ties in.
One of the most celebrated escapes of the era had been undertaken in 1846 by the very fair skinned Ellen Craft and her husband, William, both slaves from Georgia. Ellen, after transforming herself into a young male planter, had, with her darker-skinned husband posing as her manservant, ridden trains and steamers on the journey from Georgia to the free soil of Philadelphia.
I did not know about Ellen Craft and her husband William. Is there a movie or documentary anyone can recommend about them? This is fascinating as hell. She posed as young male planter and her husband as her manservant! Brilliant in your face escape.
The Order originated with the Black conductors in Detroit. The men of the Order were known by various names, one being the African-American Mysteries: Order of the Men of Oppression.
Among the founders of the Order were two of the most successful conductors in Detroit—William Lambert, the leader of Michigan's Black Road network, and George De Baptiste, a Detroit tailor.
I do remember touching on the Men of Oppression and William Lambert is a name that rings a bell. I'm late putting up this update because I had to go and read all about this again and the people. If you follow my reviews at all, you know I've been complaining about lack of historical feel or details in historicals, to say the least, I'm eating this up.
Ok, to the story,
So I chose love over freedom—possibly the last free choice I will ever make in this life.
Immediately, Jenkins hits you with the emotion and live wires you into the story about the heroine's father and how he sold himself into enslavement to be with her mother. I can't even imagine having to think about making that decision.
To help you in identifying Hester, Frances severed the tip of the little finger of her left hand the day she was born in anticipation of this tragedy.
I've read a couple other Jenkins' books, newer ones, and those had seemingly innocuous bomb drops in them too. Knowing, knowing, there was a good chance your child could be ripped away from you and coming up with a plan for it, kills in the feelings.
"Do you think you can eat something?" she asked frostily.
"Long as I don't have to pray to get it."
Hester left without a word.
Hester reached down and picked up the cup. In a calm voice she said, "Fine. Don't drink it. I shall simply put it in your food like one would for a stubborn child."
As she headed to the concealed door he growled, "You wouldn't dare."
She turned back. "If only that were true."
Galen and Hester's circling each other banter is what I live for. I'm loving their verbal spars, it is never mean or cruel back and forth but sassy jabbing with some funny wit. LIVE FOR IT. No insta love/lust either, yay!
He'd been lying back with his eyes closed. In response to her words, the one good eye opened and held her. Her heart began to beat so fast, she felt compelled to say something, anything. "Bea says the ointment should be put on three times a day."
"Good, because I was wondering how I might bribe you into agreeing to do it again...later..." His voice was thick; the air filled with tension.
Hester could feel herself becoming warm also. "I have apples to pick in the yard—"
That sassy banter had to go somewhere and I am thrilled it has started to morph into sexual tension/heat.
He had noticed her hands, however. Indigo. He'd only seen hands stained like hers a few times. He'd be willing to bet she'd been a slave in the Sea Islands of South Carolina where he knew the few existing indigo plantations operated. Working the plants to extract the dye turned the palms and backs of the hands of the slaves permanently indigo.
When Galen called her Indigo and then realized that might hurt or offend her and gave a little apology, I thought it was so brilliant of Ms. Jenkins to write that in for her hero, recognizing it.
I like how the author has set this in Michigan, it's easy sometimes to set slavery mainly in the south and not acknowledge how the north played a part. Loving the historical details, banter melting into sexual tension, and the mystery, danger feeling of who the traitor could be.
Hope everyone else in the buddy read is enjoying this as much as I am :)