I got zero reading done over Easter weekend but I'm still enjoying this one, just way behind everyone. It looks like most have already finished.
Because she and the women of her circle practiced Free Produce, Hester didn't keep sugar in the house. Free Produce supporters hoped to strike at slavery by affecting the slave owner's profits. Supporters did not use or consume any products made by slave labor, and so did without items such as sugar, rice, and American-raised cotton. The women who could afford them purchased the higher-priced English or Egyptian cotton fabrics, even though they were in some instances coarser and not as finely woven as their American counterparts. Those women unable to afford the imported fabrics made do with their old gowns, choosing principle over fashion.
Boycotting can work! We see a little bit of this today.
She could even read, a skill Hester found absolutely amazing since she didn't know anyone else who could. Ella had confided this surprising information to Hester one night the summer before while they lay side by side on their pallets in the small cabin Dot's family called home. Ella made Hester swear not to tell another soul because if the owner Master Dill ever found out he'd sell Dot deep south for sure.
Education, we all know why some people try to ban it or put major roadblocks up to keep others out.
"We were children and until that moment Ella and I had never been ashamed of our life, because it was the only life we'd known. That night, Dot sat us both down and told us the truth about our lives and how the world viewed us. I never forgot it."
Oof, this was the heavy hitting moment of these chapters for me. Thinking of Ella and Hester being carefree in their innocence and naivety only to have a veil lifted and shown a truth was heartbreaking to read. In all the Jenkins' books I've read, she always does this, weave hard emotions and truths into big and little moments that put a hitch in your heart.
That night as Galen finally gained sleep, his last thoughts were of a purple-handed little slave girl. Down the hall, in her own bed, Hester dreamt of the man who whispered, "Indigo . . ."
Eeeeyowza! I love this yearning.
I'm not sure how I felt about Hester having a fiance. He was pretty ignored and I could almost forget about him and Jenkins helped with not having Hester have a strong emotional attachment to him. Then we get him kind of erased away pretty easily, so I'm left thinking "what was the point?". I get to have a reason to keep Hester away from Galen but I think her feelings on love and how it is dangerous would have worked well enough.
A southern newspaper asked, "What is the difference between a Yankee violating the fugitive slave law in the North and a southern man . . . violating the law against the African slave trade in the South?" The North knew the difference, which is why the renewed call to end the ban had northern abolitionists so worried.
"The North knew the difference". Yeah, the difference is known, not about people who feign ignorance on these issues.
In years past, slave holders challenging the ban had done so under the banner of economics, but now, the South viewed the ban as not only a threat to their economic survival, but to their honor and way of life as well.
Economic anxiety rears its ugly head again.
Foster's voice brought her back to the matter at hand. "I want very much for you and Jenine to be friends, Hester. She can be very shy."
Foster needs to go kick rocks, what a doofus.
"Ah," she said. "I knew a man from Louisiana. Creole, just like you. He used to get in fights all the time."
Hester asked, "Why?"
"Folks kept telling him he wasn't Black. You ever have that problem, Mr. Vachon?"
"Occasionally, and I find it is always a pleasure to meet someone from the Race Inclusion Board. After all, where would the race be without them telling us who may be in the race and who may not?" Everyone chuckled.
Why own voices stories need to be published, you get moments that resonate with the culture spoken to and that is such a great feeling to be included in inside jokes, connectivity and being seen.
"He wants to attack a government arsenal in Virginia and arm the slaves in hopes of plunging the nation into war."
I love history woven in like this! Many famous people making their way into the story in these chapters, John Brown, David Ruggles, and a few others I've already mentioned.
"You don't need the gloves when we're alone."
Galen is such a smooth rogue. Lol. I like how Hester is keeping her head and still wary of him as he tries to wine and dine her and his wanting to make sure she has enough food is sweet af.
Still really enjoying this one and nervous about how much trouble the traitor is going to cause.