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Comfort: A Novel of the Reverse Underground Railroad
by H. A. Maxson and Claudia H. Young
Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2014
Paper: 978-1-62491-044-9 | eISBN: 978-1-62491-045-6

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
The year 1816 in Delaware and surrounding states was known as “the year without a summer” due to debris from the eruption of Mt. Tambora that tainted most of the Northern hemisphere with chill and darkness. This time of chill and darkness provides the setting for this ambitious tale of people divided by the institution of slavery, ignorance, greed and social isolation and the triumph of a few people of character over impossible odds. Historians H.A. Maxson and Claudia H. Young bring alive this little known time and place in America. Their collaboration results in a memorable tale of loyalty and betrayal, compassion and cruelty, and of dauntless courage and creativity. Comfort is a talented young seamstress who has worked to buy her freedom from slavery from her benevolent owner, an Irish immigrant and former indentured servant. Her husband Cuff is an unwise, irresponsible and weak man who sells his wife to pay his gambling debt. When Comfort falls into the hands of the reprehensible dealer of human flesh Joe Johnson, she is sold south to Virginia, to a cruel master and poor manager. Comfort’s stalwart friend Esther, is a slave whose skin is pale enough for her to pass as white. Esther possesses an extensive knowledge of “Roots”, the native art of using plants for therapeutic and not-so-therapeutic purposes. Esther pairs with Pompey, a mute freed slave who is clever and resourceful, to escape her sadistic owner, travel south to find Comfort and help her find her way back to freedom and her baby girl. Comfort tells the story of how shared morality and character can lead to unlikely partnerships in intrepid heroism. This extraordinary work by veteran authors sets a new standard for interpretation of the reverse underground railroad.
 
 

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