14 January 2013

Review: Path of Freedom by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Bruce Millikan has just returned home after an eight month mission working with the Underground Railroad in Indiana, and yet again, he has managed to say the wrong thing to Flora Saferight. Flora and her sister Irene are planning a train journey to Charlottesville, and are asked to change their plans so they can travel with two escaped slaves with them - escorted by Bruce Milliken. Neither Bruce nor Flora are happy with the proposal, but Flora has experience as a midwife, which will be necessary for the journey, and Bruce is the best choice, so the two are forced to work together.

There is a good mix of internal and external conflict, with Flora and Bruce's longstanding antipathy towards one another and the need to keep the escaped slaves safe. They are two flawed but likeable characters--many Christian novels, especially historicals, have such perfect Christians that they just aren't believable. Bruce and Flora are very believable as they travel together and begin to acknowledge their growing feelings for each other.

Path of Freedom got off to a good start with a two page explanation of the (disputed) history of underground code quilts, and the involvement of Quakers in the Underground Railroad (a national network of safe houses for escaped slaves seeking freedom in the North and later in Canada). I like this kind of discussion, because it shows the author has done her research. Sadly, it seems that historical accuracy is not a prerequisite to getting published, but it makes reading so much more pleasurable (and makes writing a positive review much easier).

Path of Freedomis the third book in the Quilts of Love series that I have read and reviewed, and the first historical. The novels are all stand-alone stories by a range of authors, but all have a real or fictional quilt as a central part of the story. I think this is my favourite so far, and I will certainly keep my eyes open for more books in this series, and more novels by Jennifer Hudson Taylor.

Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Jennifer Hudson Taylor at her website and blog.

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