Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Mapmaker's Children: A Novel by Sarah McCoy

Displaying The Mapmaker's Children.jpg
(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.

Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.

my thoughts:

The Mapmaker's Children was my first Sarah McCoy novel and I absolutely LOVED it!  The story was spellbinding, beautifully written, and the perfect blend of history and fiction.  I found myself staying up til the wee hours reading about Eden and Sarah - two women connected by a mystery and the past.  Talk about riveting!

Told via dual narratives, this story is the perfect blend of past and present.  Sarah (daughter of famed abolitionist John Brown) finds herself barren following a horrific bout of dysentery.  Crushed that she will be unable to have children she chooses to devote her life to a great cause - the Underground Railroad.  Blessed with the talent to draw, she is assigned the role of mapmaker - a dangerous, but extremely important job.  Through her story we learn about her father (who was sentenced to death for his raid on Harper's Ferry), her family, and her role as an abolitionist.  McCoy does a wonderful job of providing us with rich historical details surrounding the time period (1800s), the people, and the difficulties Sarah faced as an abolitionist.  I found myself utterly captivated by her story and eager to keep reading about her.  As for Eden, she lives in the present day and also faces problems with bearing children.  She has moved into a new home with her husband, who has just brought a puppy home for them to raise - its his attempt to make his wife less depressed about their childless state.  Eden is not happy - she is heartbroken about her inability to carry a child and hides herself away from the world.  Of course, the discovery of a doll's head leads her on a journey that will not only take her out of her sadness, but it will also open her heart and mind to a little girl living next door, the new puppy, and her own life.  Talk about unputdownable!  Eden and Sarah are both flawed, strong, courageous women who wind up living lives they never had imagined for themselves.  These two characters are truly the beating heart of this amazing story.  As for the past that binds them, well, that is something that you will need to discover for your self.  I'm serious!  The Mapmaker's Children is a fantastic book that you MUST READ.  It is historical fiction at its best!  I would recommend this book to fans of Sarah McCoy, fans of historical fiction, and fans of women's fiction.  This is simply one book you won't want to miss!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Mapmaker's Children
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

This does sound good!

Oh, I finished reading The Bookseller yesterday; it's funny, I wanted more of the bookshop storyline, although I liked Kitty's husband and kids, and how the book eventually ended. It just wasn't the book I was expecting. Still, Swanson's a good writer, isn't she? Thanks for the recommendation! :)

Nadia said...

Lark, this one is really good! And I know what you mean about The Bookseller - I wanted more about the bookshop as well. That was one disappointment with the novel, but otherwise I really enjoyed it. I'm glad you liked it, too :)

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I truly love historical fiction and this one sounds like it is right up my alley! I'm so glad you loved it! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Nadia said...

Heather, definitely check this one out! Its soooo good!! Thanks for having me on this tour!