cover image Freedom’s Song

Freedom’s Song

Kim Vogel Sawyer. WaterBrook, $16 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-525-65370-7

Sawyer (Echoes of Mercy) again digs into history in this enjoyable faith-filled adventure about an indentured servant on a popular riverboat. In 1860, Fanny Beck is the star singer aboard the River Peacock steamboat, but also a prisoner between shows, as she’s indentured to Sloan Kirkpatrick for a seven-year contract. Fanny dreams of escape, praying that one day she’ll reunite with her family in New York City. Then Fanny learns that Sloan plans not to honor the end date of the contract, and, when a fire breaks out on the boat, she escapes. Fanny’s long trek to freedom includes traveling with a family of escaped slaves, sleeping aboard train cars, and singing for money—and then Sloan pursues her upon learning she survived the fire. After Fanny arrives in Gideon, Ind., she finds a sobbing child alone in a cabin and meets the girl’s father, Walter Kuhn, who recently injured himself. He works out a deal for Fanny to care for the girl in order to earn train fare until Walter’s mail-order bride arrives. But plans change when a relationship between the two kindles. Sawyer’s episodic narrative and rich assortment of characters fighting for freedom provide the story with many twists and unexpected side-plots. The author’s fans will love this. (Oct.)