‘A beautiful and brilliant work of art, vulnerable, driven, and unsettling. Extraordinary’ - Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing
‘Engrossing. One of the finest historical novels in recent years’ - National Post
From the winner of the Governor General’s Literary Prize, a Walter Scott Prize Academy recommended read.
An extraordinary, epic novel with echoes of The Underground Railroad and Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer.
Spring 1855 and Virginian farmer John Dickinson has a dangerous secret that will have epic consequences. His reckless brother has squandered the family’s wealth and now a Canadian abolitionist has provoked their slaves with talk of liberation. The farm is in turmoil and then one of the workers makes a run for freedom.
Escaping their financial losses, the family become fugitives of another kind. Heading west by wagon in search of a new life, they are confronted by hunger, fear and a near-fatal riverboat accident. Each member of the family is tested to the limit as they come to terms with their slave-owning past as the Civil War approaches.
Rich in character and incident, this is an extraordinary, epic and rewarding novel.
Linda Spalding is the author of four critically acclaimed novels, The Purchase, (awarded Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award), Daughters of Captain Cook, The Paper Wife, and Mere. She runs the Canadian literary magazine, Brick. She lives in Toronto.