Journey To Eden
2022 FAPA President’s Book Award: Bronze: Adult Fiction Historical
The year is 1842. At age fifteen, Shadow leaves his Dakota village near Fort Snelling to pursue a vision quest. His outward appearance causes others in his village to suspect he is a presage of evil, but his mother believes he is a gift from the spirit world. The young brave will become known as Shadow the Wolf Spirit.
At fourteen, Archibald Weed is already taller and stronger than any other fully grown man. He is also an albino. He confronts two slave catchers brutally whipping runaway slaves on the docks of Ellsworth, Maine, but it is Archie’s own family who must ultimately flee when slave catchers are sent to capture his mulatto father.
At age fifteen, Anna is sold as a Fancy Girl at a New Orleans slave market, and taken to serve as a sex-slave on a paddlewheel steamer, the Mississippi Belle. The man who bought her, the Belle’s captain, Phineas Morgan, has a change of heart, but before he can do anything to improve her prospects, the Belle explodes and burns to the waterline.
At sixteen, George Blackhorse lives a sedentary life with his Indian mother in Cairo, Illinois. His father is a black Indian, living and working in the northeast as a lawyer and abolitionist. One night, while fishing on the river in his canoe, George witnesses a paddlewheel steamboat explode and burn.
Five years later, in 1847, these four very different people serendipitously meet and begin a journey on the wild upper Mississippi River to a place they call Eden. They are seeking freedom, equality, and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. And for Shadow, it is home, a home he and his people will soon lose.
They all have one thing in common. They are all half-breeds.