“Path of Freedom” by Jennifer Hudson Taylor


Path of Freedom (1858, North Carolina)

Quilts of Love Series, Abingdon Press
Tentative release date: Jan 2013

When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple. With only her mother’s quilt as a secret guide, the foursome follows the stitches through unknown treachery.

As they begin their perilous journey, they hope and pray that their path is one of promise where love sustains them, courage builds faith, and forgiveness leads to freedom.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award-winning author of historical Christian fiction and a speaker on topics of faith, writing and publishing. Her work has appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Romantic Times Book Reviews, and The Military Trader. She serves as the in-house Publicist and PR/Marketing Advisor of Hartline Literary Agency. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Journalism. When she isn’t writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, genealogy, and reading.

Her family history, and discovering more about her Scots-Irish, Welsh and English roots. Her Scottish surnames include Gregory, Galloway, and Fraser. Her husband’s Scottish surnames include Henderson, Campbell, and Grant. Her Welsh surnames include: Morgan and Robbins.

She lives by these two verses:
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

My Review:

Quakers Flora and Irene Saferight had their hopes soaring high when they were finally allowed to take the train out East to visit relatives. But their hopes were quickly dashed when they were asked by Pastor John to accompany Quaker Bruce Millikan on an Underground Railroad mission to save the lives a pregnant slave couple.  Since Flora was the only midwife young enough for the trip, she agreed to go.  Irene was basically commandeered as a chaperone.

But Flora and Bruce have a history–a very contentious and stinging history.  They cautiously agree to set their contentions aside to help rescue this slave couple. But will their agreement last throughout the whole journey?

With only Flora’s mother’s secret quilt guide made some years earlier, the five take off, following the stitches through unknown, treacherous territory to meet their station destination. Instead of by train, they are now going East by horse and wagon, with just the essentials to get them through.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor, in Path of Freedom, takes us through the harrowing dangers on a trek East by horse and wagon to deliver a slave couple to freedom.  The trail is rigorous and fraught with the dangers of getting caught by slave bounty hunters and spying country neighbors suspicious of Quakers being sentimental to the slavery cause.

The relationships are flushed out in true character, warts and all.  Throughout the circumstances, Flora and Bruce’s relationship is tested and tried–sometimes failing.  But forgiveness is part of their faith, and so they forge onward.

The inhumane method of transporting the slaves is necessary to carry them to safety, and Marta and Jim are ever so appreciative, especially since Marta is pregnant.  And when Marta’s baby comes early on in their travel, will Flora be able to help birth the child?  The rigors of giving birth are described in full measure, yet with dignity.

The ever-present dangers of getting caught and the difficult traveling mode help you understand the sacrifice that Bruce, Flora and Irene make to help protect this pregnant slave couple.  A worthy cause you may ask?  Absolutely!

Though this is a journey of freedom for two runaway slaves, it’s also the freedom from bitterness for Bruce and Flora through forgiveness. God’s love helps them build their faith and courage to endure.

Pick up Jennifer’s book to find out if you would be willing to put your life on the line to deliver slaves then or in today’s world now if God called you.

This book was provided free by the author, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was exchanged.


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