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Writer of fiction that reflects the light of Jesus. Sometimes the grit mixes with beauty to make up a picture of this life. That's where my fiction lives.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review of Across the Wide River by Stephanie Reed

I don't usually read historical fiction. And I tend to not choose books written to a teenage audience. However, when given the opportunity to review Stephanie Reed's Across the Wide River I was happy to break those two habits.

If you know me, then you know how involved I am in the modern day Abolitionist movement. I'm a firm believer that if we're to end slavery now, we need to look back at how the first Abolitionists did it.

And that is why I wanted to read this book.

The Rankin family (who were true, real life Abolitionists in Kentucky and Ohio) are the first house on the Underground Railroad many years before the Civil War. Son, Lowry leads the fugitive slaves to the next stop toward freedom in Canada.

What impressed me the most, and what I believe Reed wanted to convey, was the dedication that those along the Railroad had for the freedom of others. They continued, many nights of the year, to harbor and transport slaves as they kept up their farms and jobs and education. This was no small task. Yet their devotion to freedom was so strong that they made sacrifices for others.

While I would have loved to learn more about the slaves and their lives, I found that this book taught me much about those helping them escape. This would be a fantastic book for a teenager who would like to learn more about the Abolitionist movement of the 1800's. It would also be great for reading lists in high school history classes and for homeschooling families.

I hope that you'll check out the book trailer for Ms. Reed's sequel The Light Across the River.

If you're interested in learning more about Stephanie Reed and her books, please visit her website


Kregal Publications provided me with a free copy of the above book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for reading!


  1. Thank you, Susie! I'm glad the sacrifices the Rankin family made in obedience to the Lord came through for you.

    If you want to hear more of the slaves' side of the story, The Light Across the River is told in alternating viewpoints of Johnny Rankin and Eliza (based on the real slave whom the Rankins helped to escape and whose story was partially told by Harriet Beecher Stowe in Uncle Tom's Cabin). You can read the first two chapters free here: http://bit.ly/rdRKvp

    Thanks for sharing your blog readers with me.

  2. Oh, good! I kind of wondered if that was the direction of the sequel from the preview. I'll check out the first two chapters for sure!

    Thank you for commenting!

  3. You're welcome, Susie, and I hope you enjoy the chapters.