Friday, 17 April 2015

The Safe Room by B.A. Shapiro

The story sways from Lee in the present to Sarah in the past. At the centre of both stories is Harden House, the house of Lee's ancestors, which now belongs to her grandmother.

The past tells the story of a forbidden love and the hypocrisy of a person, who says one thing and thinks another. Both Sarah and Lee have to battle the repercussions of the tragic events Sarah's father and Lee's ancestor

Sarah's father reacts in a way that makes her question all her beliefs about him. Silas was right after all. It is one thing to be an abolitionist and quite another to let your daughter wed a slave.

That in itself is quintessential in the thought process of said person, who believes no man should be a slave and yet at the same time thinks the same slaves aren't good enough to be part of the family.

I have to say I figured out the whodunnit fairly quickly, but the historical aspect and ghost story that played alongside the murder mystery were interesting enough to keep me captivated.

I think what I took away from this story is how little we learn about the Underground Railroad, the people who helped and those that used the network of the Underground Railroad, especially in Europe. Because it is a large part of US history it isn't really taught in other European schools the way it should be.

The Civil Rights Movement has a well deserved important place, but the slavery and the fight against it, still doesn't get the recognition it deserves. It is nothing less than admirable, courageous and extremely brave, the way the creators and users of the Underground Railway system, connected to try to save so many lives.

In its own way this story helps to inform and shine a small light on such an immensely important part of history.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.

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