In his latest historical novel, bestselling author Robert Morgan brings to full and vivid life the story of Jonah Williams, who, in 1850, on his eighteenth birthday, flees the South Carolina plantation on which he was born a slave. He takes with him only a few stolen coins, a knife, and the clothes on his back--no shoes, no map, no clear idea of where to head, except north, following a star that he prays will be his guide.
Hiding during the day and running through the night, Jonah must elude the men sent to capture him and the bounty hunters out to claim the reward on his head. There is one person, however, who, once on his trail, never lets him fully out of sight: Angel, herself a slave, yet with a remarkably free spirit.
In Jonah, she sees her own way to freedom, and so sets out to follow him.
Bristling with breathtaking adventure, Chasing the North Star is deftly grounded in historical fact yet always gripping and poignant as the story follows Jonah and Angel through the close calls and narrow escapes of a fearsome world. It is a celebration of the power of the human spirit to persevere in the face of great adversity. And it is Robert Morgan at his considerable best.
About the Author
Robert Morgan is the bestselling author of numerous works of fiction—including the Oprah Book Club selection Gap Creek—and non-fiction, and is also an established poet with fourteen collections to his credit. Born in Hendersonville, NC, he teaches at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where he is Kappa Alpha Professor of English.
“Chasing the North Star is an epic journey, and Morgan’s vision of our dark past shines . . . Brilliantly detailed, deeply satisfying, and ultimately hopeful.” —Charles Frazier, author of Nightwoods and Cold Mountain
“Richly imaginative and thoroughly well researched, Chasing the North Star walks the reader through an extensive and thrilling escape filled with fiery insight and deep personal conviction . . . [Morgan's] personal connection to the land, including its history and features, enables the reader to experience the thrilling escape vividly. His historical nuances and references are spot‑on. Chasing the North Star is an epic journey.” —New York Journal of Books
“A gorgeous book full of lush prose, compelling characters, and an epic journey across America ten years before the Civil War.” —Chicago Review of Books
“Adventurous, compelling . . . Remarkably, despite the horrors of slavery and the almost insurmountable obstacles to escape, this is far from a grim novel. Generously laced with humor, it becomes a story of more than survival. It is a story filled with courage and hope.” —Greensboro News & Record
“Not only is the subject matter riveting, Morgan's language enhances the tension and defines his characters . . . Today, with racial and ethnic tensions again running high, this stark, terrifying story of perilous love and the search for peace is especially illuminating.” —Knoxville News Sentinel
“A powerful, gripping, and unrelenting tale of wilderness survival under the most dire of circumstances in the pursuit of freedom: another outstanding work of historical fiction from Morgan.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Morgan’s latest is a grittily entertaining, smartly paced narrative about a fugitive slave. Morgan is a first‑rate storyteller; he plots his novel extremely well, and readers will find this journey captivating.” —Publishers Weekly
“Morgan . . . presents the reader with a convincing and richly imagined experience.” —Booklist (starred review)