In her sweeping debut, Diane C. McPhail offers a powerful, profoundly emotional novel that explores a little-known aspect of Civil War history—Southern Abolitionists—and the timeless struggle to do right even amidst bitter conflict.
On a Mississippi morning in 1859, Emily Matthews begs her father to save a slave, Nathan, about to be auctioned away from his family. Judge Matthews is an abolitionist who runs an illegal school for his slaves, hoping to eventually set them free. One, a woman named Ginny, has become Emily’s companion and often her conscience—and understands all too well the hazards an educated slave must face. Yet even Ginny could not predict the tangled, tragic string of events set in motion as Nathan’s family arrives at the Matthews farm.
A young doctor, Charles Slate, tends to injured Nathan and begins to court Emily, finally persuading her to become his wife. But their union is disrupted by a fatal clash and a lie that will tear two families apart. As Civil War erupts, Emily, Ginny, and Emily’s stoic mother-in-law, Adeline, each face devastating losses. Emily—sheltered all her life—is especially unprepared for the hardships to come. Struggling to survive in this raw, shifting new world, Emily will discover untapped inner strength, an unlikely love, and the courage to confront deep, painful truths.
In the tradition of Cold Mountain, The Abolitionist’s Daughter eschews stereotypes of the Civil War South, instead weaving an intricate and unforgettable story of survival, loyalty, hope, and redemption.
About The Author
This story begins prior to the beginning of the Civil War, and our locations is deep in Mississippi, and we are living with slave owners, but, and that is a big but, they have drawn up the manumission papers for all, but the government said they weren’t allowed to free these people.
This is a story about family, but it includes those that are not related by blood or marriage, you sure could feel the love here.
I questioned the actions of Emily’s husband, but keep reading, all is not as appears, and yet, maybe there is more to his actions than I want to read into them.
I did find myself gasping when some of the bombshells hit, no way I saw them coming, and coming they did right up to the end!
Life was not easy here for anyone, and some people just keep making them harder and harder.
I did find myself page turning for answers, but never expected the surprises that continued to happen!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Kensington Books, and was not required to give a positive review.