Passages of Hope by Terri J. Haynes
When Gracie McNeil’s beloved Gran dies, Gracie is stunned to inherit the family home in Philadelphia – and her uncle is infuriated that he was bypassed. But this is Gracie’s chance to fulfill her dream of opening a yarn shop – and to overcome her lifelong history of failure. As Gracie is performing renovations on the house, she uncovers a mysterious door leading to a cellar. With the help of Clarence, a handsome family friend, she tries to find the truth about her home’s past – and what that might mean for her own future.
In 1855, Olivia Kingston uses her home as a station for the Underground Railroad, keeping her illegal work hidden even from her own husband. But then a woman goes missing from her cellar, leaving her baby, Hope, behind, and other passengers also go missing from stations throughout Philadelphia. Olivia and her husband are pulled deeper into danger – as free Blacks, they could be kidnapped and sent into slavery in the South.
What a beautiful story! Passages of Hope not only illuminates the fascinating and dangerous work of the Underground Railroad, but tells of the longing for family and home. Separated by time, Gracie and Olivia are both intriguing heroines, strong but vulnerable. Terri J. Haynes‘s writing brings these women and their trials to life, using a poignant ribbon of the search for belonging to tie it all together. I couldn’t put this novel down!