Based on real events brilliantly reimagined, this is an epic story of love and courage, desperation and determination, and three people who are inescapably entwined in each other’s lives.
Henry O’Toole sails to America to escape poverty and famine in Ireland, only to find anti-Irish prejudice awaiting him. Determined never to starve again, he changes his surname to Taylor and heads south to Virginia, where he can pick up work as a travelling blacksmith on the prosperous plantations.
Maple is a slave on Jubilee Plantation. Given to her half-sister as a wedding present by their father, she longs to return to her daughter and husband. When sassy house slave Sarah arrives, she sees her chance at last to be reunited with her own family.
Sarah has her own troubles. She has to learn to navigate the hierarchy of her fellow slaves as well as the power system of her new white masters, and now the mysterious blacksmith is promising her the world, and her freedom too.
“I wonder what kind of master the Tennessee man would be. There’s all kinds. Some are vicious and cruel and serving them is like a musket to your head. And some are so gentle and kind that it takes a while for you to remember they got you trapped against your free will, like an animal in a cage for their pleasure. And it takes another stretch of time for you to see that they’ve been eating away at you like a crow, peck, peck, pecking at your flesh, taking years to do the work, till you don’t remember how it was to be whole.”
My heart is very heavy after reading A More Perfect Union by Tammye Huf. A passionate but forbidden love story between a white man and an enslaved black woman in the 1800s. To me, this is so much more than just a love story; to me this is a riveting account of slavery, of its brutality, of its inhumanity and of its cruelty. We are also given a snap shot of the Irish potato famine in the 1800s and its deprivation sets very heavy in my heart. Tammye didn’t shy away from any aspect of the above and has given us an unforgettable and moving story of how love and hope could still blossoms even in the darkest hours.
This is a bittersweet story. There are joy and happiness but also helplessness and sadness. I always wonder about those who were being left behind. What would happen to them, what could them become. Thank you so much Tammye for giving us this beautiful story. Seeing what’s going on around the world, we still have a lot of work to do.
Thank you so much Myraid Editions for this beautiful copy. A More Perfect Union is out now.