Comfort : A Novel of the Reverse Underground Railroad
Overview - The year 1816 in Delaware and surrounding states was known as the year without a summer due to debris from the eruption of Mt. Tambora that tainted most of the Northern hemisphere with chill and darkness. This time of chill and darkness provides the setting for this ambitious tale of people divided by the institution of slavery, ignorance, greed and social isolation and the triumph of a few people of character over impossible odds. Read more...
More About Comfort by Harry A. Maxson; Claudia H. Young; H. A. Maxson
The year 1816 in Delaware and surrounding states was known as the year without a summer due to debris from the eruption of Mt. Tambora that tainted most of the Northern hemisphere with chill and darkness. This time of chill and darkness provides the setting for this ambitious tale of people divided by the institution of slavery, ignorance, greed and social isolation and the triumph of a few people of character over impossible odds. Historians H.A. Maxson and Claudia H. Young bring alive this little known time and place in America. Their collaboration results in a memorable tale of loyalty and betrayal, compassion and cruelty, and of dauntless courage and creativity. Comfort is a talented young seamstress who has worked to buy her freedom from slavery from her benevolent owner, an Irish immigrant and former indentured servant. Her husband Cuff is an unwise, irresponsible and weak man who sells his wife to pay his gambling debt. When Comfort falls into the hands of the reprehensible dealer of human flesh Joe Johnson, she is sold south to Virginia, to a cruel master and poor manager. Comfort s stalwart friend Esther, is a slave whose skin is pale enough for her to pass as white. Esther possesses an extensive knowledge of Roots, the native art of using plants for therapeutic and not-so-therapeutic purposes. Esther pairs with Pompey, a mute freed slave who is clever and resourceful, to escape her sadistic owner, travel south to find Comfort and help her find her way back to freedom and her baby girl. "Comfort "tells the story of how shared morality and character can lead to unlikely partnerships in intrepid heroism. This extraordinary work by veteran authors sets a new standard for interpretation of the reverse underground railroad.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Mention the Underground Railroad and the first name that likely comes to mind is Harriet Tubman, one of hundreds of tireless workers who, by 1850, together helped to liberate nearly 100,000 slaves. Maxon and Young’s book describes itself as “a novel of the reverse underground railroad,” describing the kidnapping of free blacks and returning them to slave states for sale to slave owners. Comfort, a former slave, is living as a seamstress in Delaware in 1816, only to be sold into indentured servitude by her husband, Cuff, in order to pay his gambling debts. Forced to leave her daughter behind, Comfort harbors a fierce determination to regain the precious freedom she’s lost, and to eventually make her way back to her child. Populated by tenacious and finely nuanced characters, this novel presents a vivid picture of a dark time in American history. Combining faith with extreme human courage, Maxon and Young offer the reader an extraordinary, inspirational tale. (BookLife)