I couldn’t put this book down. Sweeter Than Birdsong is a fictional story based on a real Westerville, Ohio family in 1855. It is a story about the Underground Railroad, freedom, and love. Sweeter Than Birdsong, written by Rosslyn Elliott is a fictional story based on a real family from Westerville, Ohio. This is the second in the Saddler’s Legacy story series, read my review of Fairer Than Morning too.
Sweeter than Birdsong Review – An Underground Railroad Story
I enjoyed this book thoroughly and since my kids saw me reading it often, they asked what it was about. Thankfully it wasn’t a romance novel, although there is a beautiful and truly romantic love story that unfolds throughout. I was able to explain to them a little about the Underground Railroad and how people risked everything to rescue slaves.
This story takes place in Westerville, Ohio in 1855. It is a different time with strict protocol, especially for women. It is a time of the abolitionist movement where some people fought against slavery by saving one slave at a time through the Underground Railroad. While others condemned them, all while living next door to one another. What a different time in life!
In this book, a young women, Kate Winter is a complete mousy girl who can’t make eye contact and speaks so softly that it is barely audible. As the story unfolds, she finds a purpose in life through saving lives through the underground railroad, she becomes a woman of great strength, with a voice. Meanwhile, Ben Hanby takes on a nearly impossible task to honor a slave man that died during a rescue while he was a child. In this story, decisions are made that could change their lives, their family’s lives, and of others in remarkable ways.
I want to tell you the entire book because it is on my heart now but I won’t spoil the story for you. The characters were real people, although the story is fictional, many of the events really happened. I find myself wanting to learn more about the characters and about Ben Hanby’s songs like “Darling Nelly Gray” and “Up on the Housetop”. I want to learn more about the underground railroad and the brave people who put their lives on the line to help the people who could not help themselves.
Sweeter than Birdsong would make a great Book Club Book (Theme: local history, romantic historic story, Underground Railroad), with discussion questions at the end of the book.
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