A big thank you to Harperteen and Edelweiss for an ARC of this book. Beginning this book was a bit intimidating when I realized the controversy that was brewing. What I realized was that my downloading of the ARC was a promise to the publisher to read the book and give an honest review.
So here it is:
Sarah-Mary is sixteen and has a brother (Caleb) with a very soft heart. When Caleb discovers Sadaf in trouble, he begs Sarah-Mary to help her and their journey from Hannibal, MO to Canada begins. Comparisons have been made to Huckleberry Finn. Just as Mark Twain did, Laura Moriarty uses this narrative to put a mirror up for our society. As the saying goes, "If the shoe fits, wear it." Some have lamented the trope of the white rescuer. Indeed, Sarah-Mary is white and she is trying to do the right thing and help someone in need. Can't we all learn from her example no matter what her skin color??
For me as a Kansas City resident, the author is local and the setting is very familiar as well. This is another aspect that attracted me to this novel. I have driven through many of the areas in the book with the exception of those in northern Minnesota.
Finally, I want to address the racial/religious conflicts depicted in this book. What has happened to treating our fellow man according to the Golden Rule? If all of us could live out that principle we would have more harmony in our country and not be as divided as we are.