I loved this book. Unknown to me before writing this review (because I obviously didn’t read the entire title – Dewette Decimal can be quite clueless), this novel is the continuation of a story begun with The Kitchen House. However, if you haven’t read the first novel, this one can stand alone very well.
This is the story of Jamie Pyke, who escaped from slavery to Philadelphia, and is now passing as a white man, the proprietor of a thriving sliver shop, and an artist. He discovers that a child who has been in his employ has been stolen by slavers and taken down South to be sold. At the same time, his “lady friend” has become pregnant with his child, but she has no idea that he is part black. Jamie’s life threatens to go off the rails, and he becomes quite unhinged by it all, as he fears that a certain slave catcher is still searching for him.
This is the story of how Jamie reacts to all these problems, and whether or not he will manage to prevail. I loved the fast pace of the novel, and all the different components these problems caused. Jamie is truly a man who does the best he can given his own fears. I highly recommend this novel.