Thursday, June 18, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Where Freedom Rings" by Steven Donahue

The thrilling story of four slaves who try to escape to the northern area of the United States along the Underground Railroad in 1853. Kelsa Colver leads her husband and two young sons on the dangerous trek after a fellow slave is murdered by a vindictive slave owner. Along the way, the Colvers are assisted by various abolitionists, including a neighboring farmer, a progressive priest, a sympathetic lawman, and notable figures Harriet Tubman and William Still. However, their efforts are impeded by a dark family secret, and the interventions of a corrupt clergyman, vicious outlaws and greedy slave hunters.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

While I read historical fiction for my blog, it isn't always the most fun topic. Too many facts can easily drown out the fiction, especially in a book like this one, that is very deep seated in the rich history of America. I remember hearing about the Underground Railroad in school, and all I could think was, "Why would anyone want to keep a person as a slave?" To this day, it makes absolutely no sense to me.
To read this book, you don't need to enjoy American or African American history. All you have to have is a sense of adventure, justice and a good heart. Mr. Donahue shows us, not the hardships of being a slave itself, but the trials of being a slave with a mind of your own. He shows us the sympathizers, the opposers and that not all humans are so bad.
Kelsa is a strong female protagonist, fighting for her rights as a human being and leading her family into what she hopes is a better life. The children are delightful, and Mr. Colver is a very strong presence that comforts the reader as much as his wife.
This shows secrets, the good and bad side of the clergy and the slow progression of acceptance, tolerance and equality. It was fitting that I read this book right around the time of the Charleston church shooting, as it reminded me that there will always be racist and evil people in this world, but there are also a great amount of good people who are willing to help the oppressed and the enslaved become free.
This was a powerful book and I really enjoyed it.

4/5--a deep, thought-provoking read.

Purchase Where Freedom Rings via Amazon.

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