AUTHOR: Ann H. Gabhart
Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who stayed in Springfield, Kentucky, when anyone with means had fled. A man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions. Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She's determined to find a way to buy Louis's freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she'll face an uphill battle.
River to Redemption opens with tears, as young Adria watches her family die from cholera. Enter Louis, a strong man of even stronger faith, who serves his master and his God faithfully. He and Matilda, another slave, take care of little Adria and find her a home with the young widow, Ruth.
At the beginning, I assumed this story was about Adria; then it seemed to be about Ruth and Pastor Will. All three points of view are featured, including a great deal of introspection. I admired the spunk and frustration of Adria and the gentle goodness of Ruth, and hoped for both their dreams to find fulfillment. Louis, however, is the character I admired most, so I was thrilled to read the author’s note revealing that Louis’s story was true.
I enjoyed River to Redemption—especially its factual base—and award it four stars. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are my own.