Monday, December 28, 2015

Book Review: The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

This book follows two stories, separated by some one hundred and fifty years, but connected by an old farm house, a doll's head and the Underground Railroad.

Sarah Brown is the daughter of abolitionist martyr John Brown. Not able to have a family of her own due to a childhood illness, Sarah finds her calling in helping the UGRR through her artistic talent-- creating pictures that serve as secret maps for runaway slaves.

Eden, a contemporary woman, moves into an old farmhouse with her husband Jack after several failed attempts to have a child. As Eden questions her marriage, she meets Cleo, a young girl who lives in the town with her grandfather, and Cricket, the dog. The three discover secrets in the old farmhouse that may be connected to a rich history with the UGRR.

As a fan of historical fiction I was excited to read this book, but couldn't really get into it. It didn't feel like much happened. There were points where the story got interesting, mostly Sarah's side of it, but that wasn't until around halfway in. Eden's story felt small and almost unnecessary. The writing itself was good, and I don't think the author was going for a "flash-bang" kind of story, which is fine, but I just didn't feel a deep connection with the characters and found it confusing at times. Overall, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.