The Mapmaker’s Children

The Mapmaker’s Children is marked by rich, closely observed storytelling full of warmth and heart.”
Charles Frazier, New York Times bestselling author of National Book Award winner Cold Mountain

Sarah Brown, the vibrant, talented daughter of abolitionist John Brown, is dynamically changed when she stumbles onto her father’s work on the Underground Railroad shortly after being told the shocking news that she won’t ever bear children. 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, hiding maps within her paintings while bigotry and hatred steer 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.

 

Praise for The Mapmaker’s Children

“McCoy deftly intertwines a historical tale with a modern one… lovingly constructed… passionately told… The Mapmaker’s Children not only honors the accomplishments of a little-known woman but artfully demonstrates how fate carries us in unexpected directions, no matter how we might try to map out our lives.”
The Washington Post

“In vibrant yet unassuming prose, McCoy tells a story of womanhood past and present, asking big questions about family, courage and love. Readers will enjoy solving the historical puzzle of the doll’s origins, but the book’s true strength is its portrayal of Eden and Sarah: two brave women bound together by the difficult, noble work of building worthwhile lives.”
— Shelf Awareness

“Engaging and emotionally charged… Eden’s realization that ‘what fable and history could agree upon was that everyone was searching for their ever-after, whatever that may be’ neatly sums up the novel’s heart—it’s about the family and the life we create, not always the ones we imagine for ourselves.”
Kirkus

“McCoy carefully juxtaposes the past and the present, highlighting the characters’ true introspection, and slowly revealing the unusual similarities in the two woman’s lives, which leads to a riveting conclusion.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“A fascinating peek into the personal life of the legendary John Brown and keep the pages turning. The Mapmaker’s Children serves as a reminder of how objects persist, such as Sarah’s doll, and how memories connected with those objects can last through generations.”
BookPage

“Sarah McCoy has illuminated a forgotten corner of American history with her signature empathy and spirit.”
Mary Doria Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Doc and Epitaph

“I love the way this novel connects the past to the present. At first, these two heroines from different centuries seem to have little in common. But defining moments of bravery and resilience echo across generations for a truly satisfying story.”
Laura Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Chaperone

“Poignant and deeply absorbing. McCoy weaves this moving tale of two women finding their way with style and thoughtfulness.”
Madeline Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Orange Prize winner The Song of Achilles

The Mapmaker’s Children is marked by rich, closely observed storytelling full of warmth and heart.”
—Charles Frazier, New York Times bestselling author of National Book Award winner Cold Mountain

“Linking a contemporary woman named Eden with the daughter of abolitionist John Brown is a provocative idea, and McCoy has the skills to pull off something talk-worthy…”
Library JournalHot Book Club Reads for Summer 2015

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