GENRE: Historical Fiction/Young Adult
The book will be on sale for 99¢ during the tour.
About the Book
Two friends–one black, one white.
Torn apart by an attack gone wrong.
One escapes into war, the other is sold into slavery.
Told from alternating viewpoints, one black and one white, Surviving the Fatherland author Annette Oppenlander delivers another stunning historical tale set against the epic backdrop of the American Civil War–a breathtaking examination of the power of hope and friendship, and the endurance of the human spirit to find a way home.
Tennessee, 1861. Fifteen-year-old farm boy Adam Brown would do anything to protect his friend Tip, a slave at the neighboring plantation—even if it means fighting Nathan Billings, the rich and obnoxious landowner’s son. But when it seems his attack has killed Nathan, Adam has no choice but to run away and join the Union Army under an assumed name. Together with Wes, a chatty soldier with a few secrets of his own, Adam embarks on a traumatic odyssey through the war-torn Midwest. As his soul darkens with the atrocities of war, all he wants is to go home. But in order to do that—if he survives—he must face his past.
Unbeknownst to Adam, sixteen-year old Tip is sold to a farmer who takes drunken pleasure in torturing his slaves. Tip quickly realizes that if he wants to survive he must run. Ahead lie hundreds of miles of unknown country, infested by slave owners, traders, starvation and cold. And so begins a journey of escape and recapture, of brutal attacks and unexpected kindness. When a rescue by the Underground Railroad goes terribly wrong, Tip finds himself caring for a pregnant runaway, his journey seemingly at an end. They have reached the Ohio River, a vast watery expanse impossible to cross. It is only a matter of time before roaming slave traders will pick them up—he will never see his mother and his best friend again.
Read an Excerpt
His attention returned to the path winding its way through the patch of woods. Just like Adam, he loved the quiet, the rustling of birds and squirrels, and the coolness of the trees. The shadows were long and he knew he was late—later than he’d wanted to be. His stomach hitched with worry as he pushed his legs to go faster. He’d skipped the dinner hour to be with his friend and make it less obvious that he’d left. He was supposed to ask permission, but when Mama Rose had come running into the vegetable garden with the news about Adam’s Pa, he’d not thought twice.
At last he slowed down. In the dusk, the lights of the kitchen glowed softly, reminding him that he hadn’t eaten. This was his mama’s domain where she ruled and created her famous dishes. He was proud of what she’d accomplished and wanted to do just as well.
No, better. He pressed his lips together. For now he’d stay quiet. No point in talking about it with his mama and downright dangerous to mention it anywhere else.
“Where have you been, boy?”
Tip froze. Master Billings had an uncanny way of appearing out of nowhere. Despite his massive frame, he walked silently, reminding Tip of a stalking cat, ready to pounce and devour.
Billings senior twirled his cane, ready to spear a beast. “I was looking for you earlier. About that porch…”
“Yessir,” Tip said, bowing low. “I see Adam, just for an hour. He lost his Pa in the war and—”
“You left without permission? Wilkes said he didn’t know where you were.”
“Yessir. Sorry, Sir,” Tip stammered. “I meant to ask but Adam my friend and…” He cringed, knowing what was going to be next.
“And though you are clearly not allowed to leave the plantation, you left anyway?” Billings came to a stop next to Tip. “Bend over.”
His gaze on the kitchen window, Tip crouched low, hurrying to cover his head with his arms and hoping his mama wouldn’t glance outside as the walking stick crashed on his shoulder blades.
The author has given us a very intriguing and, I’m happy to say, historically accurate depiction of the Civil War era. The characterization is very well done and the dual point of view clear and concise. It was easy to understand the life-altering problems facing both Adam and Tip and empathize with their plight.
I struggled a bit with the sudden fluctuations in time but, once I realized where I’d landed, I was drawn into the story. I also would have liked a bit more historical setting, although what was there was very colorful and drew me into the story.
An entertaining read for those who love historical fiction.
About the Author
Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.
Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, was elected to IWIC’s Hall of Fame, won the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award and is a finalist in the 2017 Kindle Book Awards. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently returned to her home, Solingen, Germany where she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha.
Annette Oppenlander will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the Tour
This is a four-week, review tour. You are welcome to visit the previous sites for even more chances to win.
March 26: Unabridged Andra’s
March 26: Andi’s Young Adult Books
April 2: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
April 9: Locks, Hooks and Books
April 9: Bookaholic
April 16: Rainy Day Reviews
April 16: Books Direct
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It has been my pleasure to host this week’s stop on Annette’s tour. Please come back again later this week for more authors, books and giveaways.