Honor finds a true friend in milliner Belle, although her slave-catcher brother Donovan is not such an ally and displays a unhealthy amount of interest in this quiet and modest Quaker girl. Through her friendship with Belle, Honor soon finds herself involved with the Underground Railroad - a network of people who were sympathetic to runaway slaves who were trying to find freedom in North America or Canada.. The Fugitive Slave Act had been passed and it was illegal to assist a runaway slave, there were heavy penalties to be paid if caught. Quakers were anti-slavery and wanted to assist the runaways, but their moral dilemma was that to do so would be to break the laws of the land. The Haymaker family forbid Honor to assist the runaways, and this is the start of the breakdown in their relationship. Throughout these times, Honor finds some comfort in her quilt-making, she is a fine seamstress and putting together these small pieces of material bring her some peace and make memories for her.
This is not a fast-moving story by any means, it is gently drawn out and each character is formed steadily. Honor, although the lead character, is not the most interesting, she can sometimes appear holier-than-thou and often is portrayed as appearing superior to those around her. Belle, the milliner, on the other hand is a strong, feisty character, a woman who is colourful and interesting with firm principles and morals. Belle's slave-catcher brother Donovan is something of an enigma - on the one hand he is a cruel man, and every now and again, he shows a little vulnerability.
But I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn't wait to pick it up each day.
I shall read something else by this author, perhaps her most famous, 'Girl with a Pearl Earing'