Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, has been blessed with a talent for art. Following her father’s political stance, she seeks to use her talent to assist slaves. The Underground Railroad needs mapmakers so she learns to hide maps in paintings. The country is on the brink of the Civil War. Knowing her work is dangerous, Sarah is fully aware that her map making will put those she loves most in danger.
Fast forward to the present. Eden & her husband move into an old house in the suburbs. Like Sarah, she is barren & wants a child. Rooting around in the old house unearths a discovery. A porcelain, doll head is hidden in the root cellar. Apparently, it is what’s left of a doll from the time of the Underground Railroad. Eden is about to find a past of secret messages, danger and deliverance as she & Sarah’s worlds collide.
Sarah Brown is not a fictional character. However, she is an unsung heroine. Eden, her fictional counterpart, is a work of imagination. No matter how many people we learn about from this era, there are always new ‘faces’ of the abolitionist movement who are worth knowing. Sarah Brown is one.
Historical novels that switch between past & present are underrated. I believe it takes an incredible amount of talent to remember who’s who & which era you’re detailing currently.
In ‘Mapmaker’, we are treated to two heroic female leads, who are role models for bravery & morals. Though it wasn’t a grand time in US History, the Civil War did bring about enormous change & becomes a main character, itself, in the novel. Had it not been for people such as Sarah, the War might have turned out differently & with even more lives lost.
Besides equality, the book’s theme is most definitely family. Both Eden & Sarah desperately wanted their own families. They both valued life as evidenced in their want to have children & Sarah’s protecting the lives of enslaved people. It’s refreshing to read a Civil War Era novel that focuses on the positives that came forth from it instead of only the death & destruction.
‘The Mapmaker’s Children’ is well-written, true to life, & maintains a high-quality writing standard throughout. Sarah McCoy has found her niche in her writing. It is a 5 star novel.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.