Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Redfield Farm"

Calvary's bookclub book of the month is "Redfield Farm"  by Judith Redline Coopey.
I really enjoyed 90% of this book.  It is a Quaker woman's first person narrative of working for the Underground Railroad in pre-Civil war PA.  The main character, Ann, is part of a large Quaker family whose patriarch is passionate for abolition and inspires his son and daughter to use their farm to assist former slaves to freedom in Canada.  You learn a lot about both the Quaker faith and traditions as well as the Underground Railroad and slavery.    My only criticism is the last 10% of the book Coopey tries to hard to wrap up each and every story line of every character in the book into a neat bow.  Its too much.  Coopey should have left those storylines to the imagination and focused on ending Ann's career in the UR with more feeling and depth.  But, it is still a very worthwhile read and will stimulate a good discussion I'm sure for our book club.

Some discussion questions that have come to my mind in reading the book are:
 Would you have risked to help free slaves?  How much would you risk?  When would you say "I've done enough?"  How far can you go with equality?  So far that you would welcome a person of color into your family?

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