“Two Wings to Fly Away” by Penny Mickebury— A Historical Drama Filled Novel

Mickelbury, Penny. “Two Wings to Fly Away”, Bywater Books, 2019.

A Historical Drama Filled Novel

Amos Lassen

 “Set in 1856 Philadelphia, runaway slave Genie Oliver uses her dress shop as a front for her work with the Underground Railroad. and reluctant heiress Abby Read, an heiress runs a rooming house because she has no intention of ever marrying a man. When the daughter of Abby’s free black servant is grabbed by rogue slave catchers, an unlikely group of people come together, first out of necessity, and then, gradually, in friendship.” Through this Abby and Genie find something much more.

I love historical novels and I have no idea why but I was such in the mood for a book on this topic that when it arrived, I cleared the following two days and read straight through.

Writer Penny Mickelbury beautifully brings together

drama, history, and friendship into a wonderful read. The nation is on the brink of civil war and while we do not yet feel the tension that war brings, it remains in the back of our minds. There is a dramatic intensity throughout that reminds us that time is of the essence and since we have grown to love the characters we want everything to be all right for them. The story is complex as are the characters who are both runaway slaves and abolitionists and we meet them at a time that is unsafe for both. There I also the undercurrent of love desire between women alongside of African American life before the Civil War.

I believe that the characters we meet seem so real to us is because of their desires to be free (and not just from slavery). They live at a time when a system allows for hatred and subjugation (and we live in a time that such a system could reemerge when we think of our present government).

I do not want to spoil any of the plot by continuing to summarize so I hope my recommendation will be enough for you to get a copy of this very fine book.

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