She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain. ~Louisa May Alcott
It’s true! Books have turned my brain! I have recently discovered author, Melanie Dobson. Well, I didn’t discover her in the sense of being astounded by her writing and setting her on the path to authorship. However, when we became Facebook friends and I realized she was an author I had to read her work. The other night at a big name box store that I hate to shop at I found Melanie’s book Love Finds You in Liberty Indiana. I went there to look at cameras and was disappointed in that endeavor. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed in Melanie’s book.
Love Finds You in Liberty Indiana held two levels of appeal for me – both of my parents are from Southern Indiana; the majority of my extended family still lives there and the book is a historical fiction work set in the 1800s. I have always enjoyed early American history and toyed with being a history teacher for a brief period of time during junior high and high school. Someday I hope to write a historical fiction novel.
The 1800s were a tumultuous time in the history of our country. Slavery had caused a rift between the northern states and the southern states and the rift was widening. Northern abolitionists took it upon themselves to help runaway slaves through the Underground Railroad. They put their own safety in jeopardy to fight for what they believed was right. In September of 1850 the Fugitive Slave Act was passed making it a punishable crime to aid a fugitive slave. This made it all the more dangerous for those people attempting to help. And, it made it hard for even people who had been freed from slavery and were living in the northern states. Slave hunters could at any time with very little proof pick up a freeman and sell them back into slavery.
Anna Brent and her father Edwin Brent own a mill on the outskirts of Liberty Indiana. Unbeknownst to their neighbors and friends they are conductors on the Underground Railroad. Their goal is to help as many slaves on their route to seek freedom in Canada.
Despite the risk of their own exposure they continue to work to help the slaves. When Daniel Stanton, an outspoken abolitionist, comes to town Anna is attracted to him and his ability to speak out against wrongs. Aligning herself with him, though, would put her work on the Underground at risk.
The passage of the Fugitive Slave Act further endangers Anna’s work. Her secrets may be exposed and if that happens her station on the Underground will be closed. As pressure rises Anna finds herself in a situation of needing to trust someone. Will she be able to continue her work even when the risk to her own life is so great?
Love Finds You in Liberty Indiana is a beautiful story of one girl’s desire to make a difference. For me the mark of a good book is when the story or information touches my life and inspires me. Melanie’s story definitely did that.
To find out more about Melanie and her writing visit her web site.