Wissahickon Souls - A Wissahickon Creek Story
Publisher: Benezet Street Press
When a white mob attacks her family home, Claire Penniman will fight back, even if it’s the last thing she does in life.
In 1806 Philadelphia, Claire Penniman is born free. Claire is smart, brave, and bold -- qualities her white indenture holder, Anna Williams, finds irksome in a Negro. More irksome is her son, Lawrence’s forbidden love for Claire.
In 1824, Claire becomes pregnant. She and Lawrence marry and flee to Haiti where their son is born, and three years later, a daughter. In a country of blacks, Claire finds acceptance but Lawrence, the blanc, feels disregarded. Haitian life involves backbreaking labor, scorching heat, tropical storms, and little fun. Claire embraces Voodoo but Lawrence finds solace in rum and cockfighting. After seven years, Lawrence becomes hostile and distant. Claire’s loneliness leads her to the sea and the discovery of astonishing love.
After ten years in exile, Claire and her family return to a Philadelphia roiling with racial hatred. When the Flying Horses race riot threatens Claire’s home, she fights to save her family. The battle for Lawrence’s love proves more brutal.
Young adult and adult fans of authentic historic fiction will love this beautiful story of forbidden love, regret, and reconciliation set in early 19th century Philadelphia, on Wissahickon Farm, and in Haiti.
“Devlin’s writing is beautiful and professional. The historical setting is authentic. Readers will walk alongside Claire on her sprawling journey as a freeborn black in the early 19th century when slavery was the rule of the land.” — Chanticleer Book Reviews