The Third Mrs. Galway
By: Deirdre Sinnott - Akashic Books, $17.95
Description: Antislavery agitation is rocking Utica in 1835 when a young bride discovers an enslaved family hiding in her shed, setting in motion the exhumation of long-buried family secrets.
Verdict: It is 1835 in Utica, New York, and newlywed Helen Galway discovers a secret: two people who have escaped enslavement are hiding in the shack behind her husband’s house.
Suddenly, she is at the center of the eras greatest moral dilemma: Should she be a good wife and report the fugitives? Or will she defy convention and come to their aid?
Within her home, Helen is haunted by the previous Mrs. Galway, recently deceased but still an oppressive presence. Her husband, injured by a drunken tumble off his horse, is assisted by a doctor of questionable ambitions who keeps a close eye on Helen.
In charge of all things domestic is Maggie — formerly enslaved by the Galway family and freed when emancipation came to New York eight years earlier.
Abolitionists arriving in Utica to found the New York State Anti-Slavery Society are accused by the local papers of being traitors to the Constitution.
Everyone faces dangerous choices as they navigate this intensely heated personal and political landscape.
A quite mesmerizing tale chock full of fear, desire, terror, and love intertwined, this masterfully gripping work of historical fiction is a must-turn, keep-turn book and one that I personally, just could not put down!
A story expertly woven together using a cross-section of 1835 Utica, New York, bringing forth an engrossing narrative that contemplates race, class, history, let alone the search for justice and humanity, The Third Mrs. Galway is a book you simply must pick up (if only to better understand our current times a little more, perhaps).
In what is also a story that features a rather diverse cast of characters and which embodies the political, class, and racial upheavals of its time and milieu, The Third Mrs. Galway is an astonishingly powerful look at the prologue to Emancipation; and where one cannot fail to be swept into the uncertain, violent time of this era in New York.
Deirdre Sinnott Sinnott is an author, researcher, and activist for social change. She grew up in the region of Utica, New York, and graduated from Syracuse University. Sinnott speaks nationally about the role of Central New York’s residents in the abolition of slavery.
She was the originator of Uticas Abolition History Day Celebration and has directed two award-winning documentaries on mass incarceration/prison issues. She facilitated the program Resisting the New Jim Crow at the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum.
Sinnotts writing has appeared in newspapers, two anthologies, literary journals, and in various online resources. The Third Mrs. Galway is her first novel. She is a historical consultant for the Fort Stanwix Underground Railroad History Project, funded by the National Park Service.
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