After powering through the first chapters to find peace with the old attitudes and old language (the N Word, manumit, dropsy, negress, mulatto) and roll into the flow of the story through the context of history, this book becomes a high value and educational story. Delightful old talk, like "It's city life that learns you, an' I'd a-loved it!" It is extremely well written, fully using the language of the time to bring forth a rare, uncleansed and honest insight of this period of American society. It is interesting that, as the more open-minded characters muse about the righteousness of owning people, they never thought to PAY them, at least. A very good read for those that appreciate historical fiction and would be a great assignment for a literature or linguistics class.