As frequently happens with authors, we read one book we love by an author, and then we put all the rest on hold at the library and read as they come in.
Tonya Bolden is one such author. This is some powerful history to read, but my 17-year-old daughter and I again deeply appreciated this story -- I can't say we loved it, the material is too grim and horrific, but the story was deeply touching.
Crossing Ebenezer Creek is set during the Civil War, specifically Sherman's March to Atlanta. Many African Americans, mostly slaves, joined the soldiers on the march on its periphery, looking to Sherman to fulfill their hopes and dreams, for the freedom the Union promised.
Mariah, a slave, finds temporary respite from her plantation owner and overseer while traveling with the soldiers. Caleb, a free black man and blacksmith, finds purpose working for the soldiers and his heart warms to Mariah in a way he hadn't thought possible.
You want, so desperately, for this tale to have a romantic, storybook ending, but life is rarely like that, and the author is true to the events at Ebenezer Creek.
I won't spoil the ending, won't spoil what happens. It is gut-wrenching, however, to read through your tears.