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“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”


Currently reading

Drums of Autumn
Diana Gabaldon
The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America
Gerald Horne
Clued In: How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again (paperback)
Lewis Carbone
Touched With Fire: Based on the True Story of Ellen Craft - Christopher Datta

I won this book in a giveaway from the Historical Fictionistas.

3.5 stars, but I'll round it up to 4 in this case (I'm usually a round-down-er).

I feel like this book has two parts, the first half is 3 stars, and the last half is a solid 4 stars.

The first half of the book is interesting in that it is based on the true story of two slaves, Ellen and William Craft. I like stories that are based in truth, but the first half of the book is very simply written, almost verging on YA. The portrayal of the characters also lacks complexity in this portion of the book. But, Ellen and William's story is so compelling, I had to keep reading.

As mentioned in the author's note at the end of the book the first half of the book is true to life. But, Ellen doesn't actually join the Union army to fight her way back to Georgia. That part of the book is inspired by other women during that time who the author found interesting. That, to me, almost made the second half more like alternate history. Not a bad thing, but I was a bit on the fence about how I felt about the story not staying true to what actually happened.

The second half of the book is centered mostly around the war, and I felt like the story, and the author, really hit a stride. The writing style was more realistic and convincing, characters were developed more deeply, and I felt more invested in the story overall.

I applaud Datta for writing this story from a woman's viewpoint, and for capturing the complexity of her situation. Kudos for shedding light on an interesting historical character, and for giving an insight to women in the military.

Overall, a very solid read!