A Story of Forgiveness, Redemption, and Love–
The Abolitionist’s Daughter takes place in Greensboro, Mississippi, during the Civil War. Judge Matthews despised slavery, with a passion, yet he owned an abundance of slaves. Some might think that he was a hypocrite, but he wasn’t. The judge would buy slaves who were severely abused by their owners or about to be separated from their families. He would educate the slaves and care for their needs. And, even though it was illegal to grant slaves their freedom, the judge prepared freedom papers for each one. He wanted to be ready, for whenever their liberation day came. His daughter, Emily, was his best advocate. The judge worried, however, that his controversial anti-slavery practices lessened the number of suitors for his daughter. He was right. So when a young doctor, Charles Slate, asked to marry Emily, the judge readily gave his consent. He feared, however, that he might have made a mistake.
Ms. McPhail crafts The Abolitionist’s Daughter with enough authentic details, and local dialect, that the characters came to life. She also depicts the ugliness and horrors of slavery in this story, as well as the kind and understanding way some owners cared for their slaves. This book is about love, loyalty, forgiveness, abuse, and redemption. I found the pacing slow at times, but the story captivating. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction novel.
Thank you, Kensington Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
~4 out of 5 stars~
Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)
Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. In addition to holding an M.F.A., an M.A., and D.Min., she has studied at the University of Iowa distance learning and the Yale Writers’ Workshop, among others. Diane is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network and the Historical Novel Society. She lives in Highlands, North Carolina, with her husband, and her dog, Pepper.