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The Mapmaker's Children
Cover of The Mapmaker's Children
The Mapmaker's Children
A Novel
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Baker's Daughter and Marilla of Green Gables, a story of family, love, and courage
When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance. 
Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Baker's Daughter and Marilla of Green Gables, a story of family, love, and courage
When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance. 
Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.
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About the Author-
  • SARAH McCOY is the New York Times bestselling author of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Award Best Historical Fiction nominee The Baker's Daughter and The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. She calls Virginia home but presently lives with her husband and their dog, Gilbert, in El Paso, Texas.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 9, 2015
    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.

  • Library Journal

    April 15, 2015

    Eden and Jack Anderson are settling uneasily into their historic home in New Charleston, WV, having brought the baggage of a fragile marriage with them. After finding an antique porcelain doll's head in a hidden pantry, Eden begins to suspect that the house contains more secrets. When Cleo, an inquisitive neighborhood preteen hired to walk the Andersons' dog, introduces Eden to local antique dealers and historians, the house's association with the Underground Railroad begins to emerge. Interspersed with Eden's contemporary tale are vignettes of the life of Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, beginning in 1859 with her father's failed rebellion and execution and proceeding through the Civil War and after with Sarah's move to California. Along the way, Sarah's struggles mirror Eden's as both women navigate loss, disappointment, and ultimately forgiveness and the forging of healthy family and community connections. VERDICT McCoy (The Baker's Daughter) moves deftly between past and present in this engaging examination of dark and hopeful times in our collective national history and in our lives. Fans of both well-researched historical fiction and contemporary tales of married life (and of authors such as Jennifer Chiaverini and Sue Monk Kidd) should be satisfied by this rich and textured depiction of characters possessing strength and grace. [See Prepub Alert, 11/17/14.]--Jennifer B. Stidham, Houston Community Coll. Northeast

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Dallas Morning News "El Paso writer Sarah McCoy mined the archives for information about Brown's daughter Sarah, an artist who is the titular character of her latest novel, The Mapmaker's Children. The lacing of the two plots is seamless... [McCoy]'s unquestionably a gifted author."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Engaging and emotionally charged...Eden's realization that 'what fable and history could agree upon was that everyone was searching for their ever-after, whatever that may be' neatly sums up the novel's heart--it's about the family and the life we create, not always the ones we imagine for ourselves."
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A Novel
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