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After the sudden death of her troubled mother, struggling Harvard grad student Kate Drayton walks out on her lecture - and her entire New England life. Haunted by unanswered questions and her own uncertain future, she flees to Charleston, South Carolina, the place where her parents met, convinced it holds the key to understanding her fractured family and saving her career in academics. Kate is determined to unearth groundbreaking information on a failed 1822 slave revolt - the subject of her mother's own research.
Nearly two centuries earlier, Tom Russell, a gifted blacksmith and slave, grappled with a terrible choice: arm the uprising spearheaded by members of the fiercely independent African Methodist Episcopal Church or keep his own neck out of the noose and protect the woman he loves.
Kate's attempts to discover what drove her mother's dangerous obsession with Charleston's tumultuous history are derailed by a horrific massacre in the very same landmark church. In the unimaginable aftermath, Kate discovers a family she never knew existed as the city unites with a powerful message of hope and forgiveness for the world.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By mlfarr on 12-14-17
Couldn't finish. Seemed disjointed to me.
Maybe it is just me but I had a hard time following the storyline. It just didn't keep my attention. I do feel that there needed to be more background to the story at the first and the characters needed to be developed so you could relate to them.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Rona Branson on 12-15-17
A good and hard story that inspires hope and change
I loved going on this journey to the past and the tie in to today and how time has assimilated and transformed the southern culture of today. Though some events may seem a little too convenient (like randomly meeting an unknown nephew on her first day in town), the story is compelling and believable. Well written with moments of great prose, this story takes the events of the past and today to help us all grow in compassion for our fellow human beings and to eliminate racism in our own hearts — even if and especially if we descend from a family who has a racist past. (Spoiler alert:) It does all tie up very neatly in the end, but with the nature and depth of the issues addressed, I for one was very glad to be left with hope to move forward!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful