Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Book Review: "Where Freedom Rings" (Steven Donahue)

In the early 1850s, Kelsa Colver and her family, including her husband and their two young sons, are slaves who belong to the well-to-do Mallards, and live and work on their large Southern plantation. When one of her sons and her husband are badly beaten on the same day for the most minor of infractions, and her duties that night include working alongside a slave from a neighboring farm who shares about an escape route out of slavery, Kelsa decides she can't wait any longer to get her family out of harm's way.

Thus follows the story of what happens when the Colvers make a valiant attempt to escape their life as slaves and work their way to safety in the North. Not every person they encounter is a friend, and danger lurks at every turn.

Author Steven Donahue's most recent release is the historical novel Where Freedom Rings: A Tale of the Underground Railroad.

The premise of the story is nothing less than intriguing: a Civil War-era work with well-rounded, realistic characters that would bring to life and light the Underground Railroad for the modern readers who might not be as familiar with that crucial part of United States history as others.

These characters are, indeed, compelling and likable. Who wouldn't feel the urge to celebrate a mother's selfless love for her family, to mourn alongside her for what she and they were forced to suffer? Kelsa endures terrible ordeals and faces down the most horrific dangers, all for the sake of something greater than herself: the possibility of freedom for her children.

That said, the strengths of the characters will not be outweighed, for true historical fiction connoisseurs, by the fact that the novel is really contemporary fiction in almost every way. Dialogue and character interactions are all modern; dress, proprieties, culture, and social mores are equally modern. The work lacks the historical accuracy that would lend the necessary gravity and credibility to a novel of this weight and importance.

As a contemporary novel, perhaps even futuristic, with a few tweaked details, to give an allegorical perspective of the Underground Railroad, Where Freedom Rings would be both an entertaining and authentic read. As it stands, with the historical inaccuracies and questionable realism in terms of character actions and circumstances, it falls flatter than I had hoped.

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Author: Steven Donahue
Title: Where Freedom Rings
ISBN: 978-1-50772-549-8
Purchase here: http://amzn.to/1IuSboM

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to recommend reading the book The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel.
    I finished reading it today, and I think its a very interesting book to read.

    I brought mine from Amazon and I got it in only 2 days.
    Here's a link for the book on Amazon:


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