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Switching between points of view is a risky venture, but MacTavish pulls it off admirably. I enjoyed both voices, and the short chapters moved the book along almost too quickly.
I respect the amount of cultural and historical research which made the book believable and authentic. My only complaint is the fact that it's book one in a series and, although several parts of the story were tied up enough to be satisfying, there was enough of a cliffhanging twist at the end to make me hope MacTavish is at the keyboard right now hammering away at part 2. I'll be pre-purchasing that one as soon as it's available.
Sarah MacTavish does a marvelous job of bringing the past to life. This is told from two different points of view, one from a character living in the North, and one from the South. Each has a very different perspective on the world around them, which grants the entire plot a broadness not usually found in stories set during the abolitionist time period. But it's not only these two characters which draw in, rather there's a rich cast. So many people, each with their own experiences, desires, fears and troubles. This is a book which grabs on many levels and builds a realistic world.
What I really loved about this was the refreshing dialogue. Although set in the past, the characters never feel rusty, flowered or forced. The exchanges, thoughts and feelings come across naturally, over-stepping the feeling of being from the past. The fears and troubles come to life, making it clear how difficult it was to stand up for what was right. After reading this, the abolitionists take on a new dimension and earned respect. In other words--although historical, this is by no means a dry story. There is so much life and action, tension and emotions, that I believe it's something many YAers will have no trouble diving into and devouring every page. Best of all, when the last page is done, the story and characters don't disappear but remain filed away as a part of this time period and change how the reader looks back at it.
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.