Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where you can share the first paragraph, or a few, of a book you are reading or thinking about reading soon.
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along!
Today I am spotlighting The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy.
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.
New Charlestown, West Virginia
The old house on Apple Hill Lane shuddered against the weighty snow that burdened its pitch. The ancient beams moaned their secret pains to the wintering doves in the attic. The nesting duo pushed feathered bosoms together, blinked, and nodded quickly, as if to say, Yes-yes, we hear, yes-yes, we know, while down deep in the cellar, the metal within the doll’s porcelain skull grew crystals along its ridges. Sharp as a knife. The skull did all it could to hold steady against the shattering temperature for just one more minute of one more hour.
The front door banged open, and a gust of snowy wind ran madly through the house’s heart chambers.
“The newspapers and TV weatherman called it Snowmageddon!” said a silver-haried man, not yet old by the house’s standards. He was followed by a woman bundled in thick knits and gloves. “There’s another on the way. An Alberta clipper storm, driving down from Canada, apparently. Did we have to do this today?”
“We’ve waited long enough, Dad,” said a younger man, entering last.
Accident, blessing in disguise, fate, fortune, or happenstance — they were definitions of the same: life with no guaranteed happy ending. What fable and history could agree upon was that everybody was searching for their ever-after, whatever that may be.
So...what do you think? Is this one you would pick up? Leave a comment below!
(These quotes are from uncorrected advance proofs. Please refer to the final printed book for corrected quotes!)