The Mapmaker’s Children

Sarah McCoy. Crown, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-34890-4
McCoy’s (The Baker’s Daughter) latest is a journey into the past that reveals the hidden depths of the lives of two very different women separated by more than 150 years. Sarah Brown, one of the children of abolitionist John Brown, survives deadly dysentery only to learn that she will be barren from complications of the illness. Despite the devastating diagnosis, Sarah is determined to give meaning to her life. She assists in drawing maps for the runaway slaves her father is harboring in their Plattsburgh, N.Y., home. In present-day West Virginia, Eden and her husband, Jack, have left their life in Washington, D.C., behind to get a new start after Eden has a series of miscarriages. But Eden’s depression over her loss and seeming inability to conceive has left her doubting the stability of her marriage. When Jack leaves on a business trip, Eden is forced to deal with the puppy he bought her as she adjusts to life in the small town and seeks to uncover the history behind her house. McCoy carefully juxtaposes the past and the present, highlighting the characters’ true introspection, and slowly revealing the unusual similarities in the two woman’s lives, which leads to a riveting conclusion. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/09/2015
Release date: 05/05/2015
Hardcover - 538 pages - 978-1-4104-8345-4
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-385-34892-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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