The Mapmaker's Children tells two stories, over 150 years apart, bound together by a house and a doll's head found in that house. Fractured by years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive, Eden Anderson and her husband have bought a house in a D.C. suburb, hoping it would offer a refuse of healing for Eden and their marriage. It is only when Eden discover's a broken porcelain doll head in an opening in the pantry, does she begin to understand that the house that they'd remodeled to be modern and convenient has a secret history. As she tries to make sense of her own life and to learn details of the home's past, we readers are led back to the days prior to the Civil War where we meet Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, who has traveled to New Charlestown to the home of the Wills family. Within days, John Brown will be hanged for his raid on Harper's Ferry. Filled with sorrow and loss, Sarah vows to help carry on the family's involvement in the Underground Railroad. Few know that she has already helped by creating pictorial maps that help escaped blacks find their way to safety and aid.
Both Sarah and Eden seem destined to childless lives, but find hope and purpose in unexpected ways. Sarah's story seems a bit deeper, with its wartime setting and heroic decisions, but both women's stories show courage and heart, and that family takes many shapes and forms. I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.