Touched with Fire

  • by Christopher Datta
  • Narrated by Hugh Harper
  • 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Touched with Fire, a novel of the Civil War inspired by the true story of Ellen Craft. Awarded top Historical Fiction Gold Medal Award for 2016 by eLitAwards.
Ellen Craft is property; in this case, of her half-sister Debra, to whom she was given as a wedding gift. The illegitimate daughter of a Georgia plantation owner and a house slave, she learned to hate her own image, which so closely resembled that of her "father": the same wiry build, the same blue eyes, and the same pale - indeed, lily-white - skin. Ellen lives a solitary life until she falls, unexpectedly, in love with a dark-skinned slave named William Craft, and together they devise a plan to run north. Ellie will pose as a gentleman planter bound for Philadelphia accompanied by his "boy" Will. They make it as far as Baltimore when Will is turned back, and Ellie has no choice but continue. With no way of knowing if he is dead or alive, she resolves to make a second journey - south again. And so Elijah Craft enlists with the 125th Ohio Volunteers of the Union Army: she will literally fight her way back to her husband.
Eli/Ellie's journey is the story of an extraordinary individual and an abiding love, but also of the corrosive effects of slavery, and of a nation at a watershed moment.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

History Alive! Reads like fiction.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, this is an excellent book with a heart warming story taken from an important period of history. It is the product of 10 years of research, yet reads like fiction. The story is empowering and well-written. It is populated with colorful historical characters that you will want to know.


Who was your favorite character and why?

That is a tie between Ellen Croft (Ellie or Eli), Joseph, and William. You cannot help but like Ellen because she is so determined and passionate. She is a strong, independent female character with grit and dignity.

William is an amazing person marked by bravery and decency. The way he stood up to the Reverend in Ellie's defense reveals his character. He is courageous but not ruled by his passions. He is smart and honorable.

Joseph is love embodied. He is gentle and kind. He keeps saving Eli's life even when she is ungrateful and wants him to go away. He is a character you admire.


Have you listened to any of Hugh Harper’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I haven't, but this book has made me a fan. I certainly will in the future. He gives a unique voice to each character that he maintains throughout the book. One of the generals sounds just like Bill Clinton. He has excellent pacing and when he sings the scene on the train you don't hear Hugh Harper, you hear two Southern belles singing. Excellent performance.


Who was the most memorable character of Touched with Fire and why?

I already answered this so I will write about some memorable scenes. As mentioned above, the scene where William stands up to the Reverend is incredibly well-written. The scene where Eli posing as a white planter gets drunk for the first time is both exciting and humorous. The scene where Eli meets General Grant also stands out in memory. This is an excellent book that covers important history. This story should be read by everyone.


Any additional comments?

While this is not a specifically Christian book, it incorporates Christian themes as an organic part of the story. It accurately captures the culture at the time (which was Christian). Christians will appreciate this book. It contains limited swearing that is authentic to the story. It is very well-written and historically accurate. It is not preachy. So secular folk would enjoy this as well. I received this book for free from the author, narrator or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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- pixledust

Touched with Fire

First, the listener needs to realize that this is historical FICTION, inspired by the life of Ellie Craft. As such, do not expect it to be historically accurate!

The first part of the book is heartbreaking as the author delves into the feelings of a quadroon slave who looks white but is treated like any other slave. Ellie is thought to be aloof when really she just doesn't feel accepted by the other slaves.

The middle of the book reads like a war story, so if that bothers you, don't bother reading it. I didn't expect so much battlefield action when I started reading. Also, Ellie becomes a much less sympathetic character in this part of the book.

The book is well-written & thought provoking. The narrator did a good job in giving each character a voice & made the book come aluve.

I would be interested to read the TRUE story of Ellie Craft. I was given the chance to listen to the Audible version of this book & chose to review it.
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- Neesie315

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-07-2016
  • Publisher: Christopher Datta