Comfort: A Novel of the Reverse Underground Railroad
Ted Parkhurst, editor (anthology)
In 1816 along the Mason-Dixon line, a woman is abducted and sold back into slavery. This is the story of her struggle to elude a drunken husband, earn her "free papers" a second time, and regain her dignity. Hers is an ageless story of human striving, abuse, and intrepid heroism.
Mention the Underground Railroad and the first name that likely comes to mind is Harriet Tubman, one of hundreds of tireless workers who, by 1850, together helped to liberate nearly 100,000 slaves. Maxon and Young’s book describes itself as “a novel of the reverse underground railroad,” describing the kidnapping of free blacks and returning them to slave states for sale to slave owners. Comfort, a former slave, is living as a seamstress in Delaware in 1816, only to be sold into indentured servitude by her husband, Cuff, in order to pay his gambling debts. Forced to leave her daughter behind, Comfort harbors a fierce determination to regain the precious freedom she’s lost, and to eventually make her way back to her child. Populated by tenacious and finely nuanced characters, this novel presents a vivid picture of a dark time in American history. Combining faith with extreme human courage, Maxon and Young offer the reader an extraordinary, inspirational tale. (BookLife)