For three years of the War Between the States, Marlie Lynch has helped the cause in peace: with coded letters about anti-Rebel uprisings in her Carolina woods, tisanes and poultices for Union prisoners, and silent aid to fleeing slave and Freeman alike. Her formerly enslaved mother’s traditions and the name of a white father she never knew have protected her–until the vicious Confederate Home Guard claims Marlie’s home for their new base of operations in the guerilla war against Southern resistors of the Rebel cause.
Unbeknowst to those under her roof, escaped prisoner Ewan McCall is sheltering in her laboratory. Seemingly a quiet philosopher, Ewan has his own history with the cruel captain of the Home Guard, and a thoughtful but unbending strength Marlie finds irresistible.
When the revelation of a stunning family secret places Marlie’s freedom on the line, she and Ewan have to run for their lives into the hostile Carolina night. Following the path of the Underground Railroad, they find themselves caught up in a vicious battle that could dash their hopes of love–and freedom–before they ever cross state lines.
Fourth time reading, first time since 2019, still loved it! Ugh, that cover is gorgeous.
I’d still guess the hero to be autistic, but potentially also have ADHD, which are often co-occurring. He mentions his inability to stop moving several times, his constant nervous energy.
This year provides an interesting context to re-read this story — the hero and heroine are trapped together in a small room, not for quarantine, but for both of their safety from Confederates. Added another layer to my read of their confinement.