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The Mapmaker's Children

The Mapmaker's Children

A Novel

Book - 2015 | First edition
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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. 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. 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.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385348904
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 311 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Map-maker's children : a novel


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Mar 28, 2019

Appreciated the story of the "mapmaker" Sarah Brown much more that the present day Eden. The historical research regarding the life of John Brown's daughter added a great deal of depth to the story.

Feb 26, 2019

Loved the half of the book about Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown who was hanged for his actions in take over of munitions stash and uprising just prior to Civil War. She could easily have drowned in her sorrows, the loss of her father and brothers at a young age and the heartache of knowing she could not have children and the terrors of slavery that she witnessed. Instead she risked her life to work with the Underground Rail Road, painting maps that guided the escaping slaves, made the decision to stay single and adopt and teach other people's children. This part of the book was fascinating.
The other part of the book, about a character who was trying to get an abolitionist's house on the National Registry was lame I thought so after starting it I just skipped it entirely. The stories did not intertwine that much I didn't think and this part was a distraction from the true story of a remarkable woman.

ArapahoeStaff18 Jul 11, 2018

This was like reading two stories at once. The story of John Brown's family and the UGRR was intriguing and showed the courage of everyone involved in the underground railroad. The second story was about a young couple moving into a house that had been used in the underground railroad circuit and finding a doll's head in the cellar. I loved the way the two stories came together in the end.

LoganLib_Phoebe Oct 15, 2015

A fascinating story told across past and present with memorable characters (of the canine variety too). A section at the back tells the true history of Sarah Brown.

Sep 06, 2015

'The Mapmaker's Children' was a book with an intriguing title with one character based on the life and work of infamous John Brown's daughter Sarah. The other main character Eden lives in what she thinks is a home in West Virginia that entirely for market value she wants to get on the National Register.
McCoy has put together a page-turning story from the Civil War and our own time. Sarah finds ways to use her art to further the Abolitionist cause while Eden heals from the the heartbreak of childlessness.


Add Notices
Feb 18, 2020

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Mentioned a man being hung and also a man being beheaded

Feb 18, 2020

Sexual Content: Sex Mentioned multiple fertility methods (fertiliy clinics) Abortion

Feb 18, 2020

Violence: Men hunting people

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Feb 18, 2020

VanessaL52 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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