“A strange feeling came over me then, as though we’d entered a dark, secret world. We crept along the north side of the river and the banks seemed to squeeze in on us while the river itself churned up mud. We passed a stand of bleached white oak trees, dead but still standing guard…the mist floated upward into a dirty strip of gauze across the sky.” Martha Conway, THE UNDERGROUND RIVER
Set aboard a nineteenth century riverboat theater, this is the moving, page-turning story of a charmingly frank and naive seamstress…
I find I am in the bizarre position of having to cut off the publisher synopsis. It reveals far too much about the book and steals some of the surprises, of which there are many.
The heart of THE UNDERGROUND RIVER is May Bedloe, an honest-to-a-fault, practical, and endearing young woman. This story is about her coming of age, overcoming loneliness, and the development of her courage. We learn about her world as she does, and author Martha Conway does a brilliant job embodying May, firmly placing the reader in her shoes and rooting for her success.
The book is less about abolitionists and more about the heroine’s journey. Adventures and challenges are numerous and riveting, and each obstacle faced and overcome adds to May’s development, and the growth (or regression) of those around her.
It was hard to put down THE UNDERGROUND RIVER. The story is moving, and as it ends–in some ways–it feels as if it’s just beginning. I hope Conway considers writing a sequel because I want more of these characters.
Fans of historical fiction, pre-Civil War era literature, and suspense will enjoy THE UNDERGROUND RIVER. For more on the book and the author, visit http://marthaconway.com/.