A love story rising from the despair of slavery.
Fredericka is the daughter of a White plantation owner and his Black house slave. Horace is a literate slave-companion to the son of a New York hotel baron.
This first book in the Pocket Full of Seeds Trilogy follows their flight for freedom through nineteenth-century America. It was a time when runaway slaves were hunted, steamships sailed around the Horn to San Francisco, horse-tugged boats navigated the Erie Canal, a midnight tsunami struck Buffalo, Mormons sought a new Zion, and wagon trains lumbered across a continent littered with unmarked graves.
Most of all, this is a story driven by an unquenchable thirst for libertas.
“A literary masterpiece of the highest caliber, historical fiction at a stellar level. ..this book deserves a vast audience…brilliance of the author to capture such emotion in her prose…wove nature into the passages as beautifully as Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. . .nothing short of genius. . .breathless expectation. . .These words soak into you like raw bitter molasses over biscuits—slow, saturating, sticking to your inside and not letting go from the very first line to the very last. This book is awarded five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award by the Historical Fiction Company.”
"Brimming with excitement...a literary masterpiece!"" —Debra Whiting Alexander, award-winning author and 2018 WILLA Literary Award Winner in Contemporary Fiction for Zetty
"A glimpse into the history of our country from the perspective of a young black couple. I fell in love with Horace and Fredericka right from the start. Their escape from slavery and the treacherous wagon train trip West kept me reading late at night, couldn't put it down. How long until Book Two? Danuta is an excellent storyteller. Love the way the language flows. Meticulously researched. A must read. Be prepared for an emotional journey!"
Average rating from 4 members
I received an e-ARC version of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. “Libertas” by Denuta Pfeiffer is the first book in the Pocket Full of Seeds trilogy. This book tells the story of Fredericka, daughter of a white plantation owner and his black house slave, and Horace, a freeman who is the companion to the son of a New York hotel baron. We also get some background regarding the plantation owner (Frederick), his wife (Henrietta), a bounty hunter (Mr. Honey), the hotel baron’s son (Jonathan) and his fiancé (Emily). The entire book is constantly full of action, which reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock’s quote about movies being life with the boring parts cut out - this book moves from scene to scene with few breaks. Fredericka and Horace evade the plantation owner … they evade the bounty hunter … they survive a storm … they survive a tornado … they survive illness … they survive a lot of water incidents … in other words, a lot of constant action (and suspense). That being said, the plot does move quickly (though it took a while to get started in my opinion). Interestingly at times things seemed a bit too perfectly aligned for plot purposes for my taste, but that’s a minor stylistic quibble. I knew going in that this was part of a trilogy, but the situation for one character was rather dropped around the 80% mark (to be addressed in the next book?) after a moment I suspected was coming, and was rather pleased the author chose to go in that direction. The overall theme of this book seems to be finding freedom - freedom from slavery, freedom from religious persecution, freedom to be a new person, freedom to explore new lands - and thus the title of Libertas is very fitting. The writing was clear and easy to follow. I did like that the author did some obvious homework regarding the historical period, not shying away from writing about the horrors of crossing the country (or taking a water passage). I wish that San Francisco had been expanded on more, but I’ve the feeling that’ll happen in a subsequent book.
For once I got to the party on time as this is the first book in a trilogy. I've never read this author before but I thought the book blurb looked good. It's an historical novel based during the slavery years. A young woman whose parents were the white plantation owner and his black house slave. She falls in love and they go on a journey to freedom. Freedom from slavery. Freedom from persecution. Freedom to be who you are. It's full of action. They survive a lot. But for me there was something missing. May be book two will sort it out. Although the author has a nice writing style I did find it hard to get into.