The Mapmaker's Children

The Mapmaker's Children

A Novel

Book - 2015
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"The Mapmaker's Children is the story of Sarah Brown, the vibrant, talented daughter of abolitionist John Brown. Her conventional life trajectory is dynamically changed when she's told the shocking news that she can't bear children and stumbles into her father's work on the Underground Railroad. Realizing that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the movement's leading mapmakers. Since many runaways are unable to read and cannot carry obvious maps demarcating safe houses, Sarah takes her cues from the slave code quilts of her abolitionist colleagues, hiding her maps within her paintings. But joining the mission makes her a target for the same bigotry and hatred that led to the execution of her father and is steering the country toward a bloody civil war. Interwoven with Sarah's adventure is the present-day story of Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, who moves to an old house in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. 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 connection bridges the past and present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love and legacy in a new way"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385348904
0385348908
Branch Call Number: MCCOY
Characteristics: 311 pages ; 25 cm

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ArapahoeDiane 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 ... Read More »

A story of two women who lived during two different times, each of whom builds their family in unique ways. Sarah Brown, the daughter of John Brown, becomes involved with his work on the Underground Railroad. In the present day, Eden lives in an old house, and stumbles on a hidden Civil War era a... Read More »


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e
Einer2
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.

l
lilypad_1
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.

ArapahoeDiane 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.

e
EmilyEm
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.

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