Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review ~ Where Freedom Rings: A Tale of the Underground Railroad by Steven Donahue

Where Freedom Rings: A Tale of the Underground Railroad
by Steven Donahue
Published January 28th 2015

The thrilling story of four slaves who try to escape to the northern area of the United States along the Underground Railroad in 1853.

Kelsa Colver leads her husband and two young sons on the dangerous trek after a fellow slave is murdered by a vindictive slave owner. Along the way, the Colvers are assisted by various abolitionists, including a neighboring farmer, a progressive priest, a sympathetic lawman, and notable figures Harriet Tubman and William Still. However, their efforts are impeded by a dark family secret, and the interventions of a corrupt clergyman, vicious outlaws and greedy slave hunters.

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Let me start off by saying that Historical Fiction really isn't my forte.  Actually, historical facts seem to vanish from my memory bank as soon as I hear them.  But I have heard of the Underground Railroad and have some if not a little knowledge of this time in history.  Let me also let you know that when Mr. Donahue asked if I wanted to review his book, I was slightly leery and hesitant to accept the request because, well, the history thing.   I also was hesitant because of the cover.  Don't get me wrong - I'm as patriotic as they come, but the cover just didn't grab me.  I felt like I was about to attend a history class with a boring professor.  But  Where Freedom Rings is one of those books where the old adage, 'you can't judge a book by its cover' applies - seriously.  Once I got past all these obstacles and read the synopsis, I knew that this was a story that needed to be read.  I am seriously glad that I did have the opportunity to read this story because it is one that kept me interested throughout.   Matter of fact, it was dang good!

The main characters are amazing people and I was cheering them on with every turn of the page.  When I wasn't cheering, I was sobbing.  This story was not only a thrilling one, it was a very emotional one.  The journey I took with Kelsa, Wade and their boys was full of turmoil, pain and suffering.  But despite all the hardships, this family unit remained strong and the hope of a better life was always getting them through bad things life was throwing at them.  Kelsa was a very strong woman who really was the glue that kept the family together.  My most favorite character though was Diamond.  He is your typical boy - always into mischief and telling things like they are.  Kids say the darndest things, and this is true of Diamond - he was just too freaking cute!

Even though this is a work of fiction, the struggles were real during this time period and Mr. Donahue was able to portray it in way that was intriguing and enlightening - even to this history phobic reader.  Where Freedom Rings  is definitely a book I would recommend  and is well worth the time invested.  Check it won't be disappointed!

4 stars

Steven Donahue was a copywriter for TV Guide magazine for 14 years. His first novel, Amanda Rio, was published in 2004. He released three novels in 2013: The Manila Strangler (Rainstorm Press), Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom (Hydra Publications), and Comet and Cupid’s Christmas Adventure (Createspace). His fifth novel, Chasing Bigfoot (Createspace) was published in 2014, and his short story Grit was also included in the anthology Hero’s Best Friend by Seventh Star Press in 2014. In 2015, he published his sixth book, Where Freedom Rings: A Tale of the Underground Railroad (Createspace).