Saturday, February 16, 2013

Romance, a Moral Dilemma, a Family Secret

Heartbroken after the death of his parents, Sid leaves his home in Georgia and travels north to Pennsylvania to be with his aunt and uncle. On the eve of the Civil War, he's leaving behind his sweetheart, Catherine, and his whole way of life. In Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, he's exposed to his aunt and uncle's involvement in the Underground Railroad. Helping people is good, but this is in direct conflict with the law. He misses Catherine, but there are other girls in the north who challenge his allegiance to his almost fiancée. He is also faced with the mystery of why his father ran away from Wilkes Barre. Was it is Southern identification, or something else?

I enjoyed this novel. Sid is a sympathetic character. His life is in upheaval. His ideals and the underlying story of his life are being shaken to the foundation. His struggle is something anyone can relate to. The other characters are equally well drawn. We can understand his aunt and uncle's worries about how he will act when he learns about their involvement with the Underground Railroad and their delight at having family back in the north.

The historical perspective is accurate, except in one instance where the author indicates she took license with the facts to improve the drama. I recommend reading the historical notes at the end of the book for additional information on the period.

This is an excellent book for both young adults and for adults interested in the Civil War era.