Shadow of a Quarter Moon

Shadow of a Quarter Moon

By: Eileen Clymer Schwab
Publisher: New American Library/Historical Novel
Publishing Date: July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-451-23328-8
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review Date: July 6, 2011

The date is 1839, in North Carolina before the start of the Civil War.

Jacy Lane is the daughter of Bradford Lane, a rich North Carolina horse breeder and the apple of her father's eye. Her mother Claudia, however is another story all together. Jacy remembers the first words her mother uttered, as she pulled on Jacy's hair: "Jacy Lane, you are nothing more than a foolish quarter moon!" Jacy always felt her mother's hatred and her jealousy over the attention that was paid to her by her father. Sadly, Jacy's father passes away unexpectedly and her mother plans to marry Jacy to a very well-off but, extremely older man. When Jacy discovers her mother's plan she protests and Mom being Mom calls her "a foolish, infernal quadroon," and tells Jacy that she is the natural daughter of her father and a slave. Jacy finally understands what the phrase "quarter moon" means.

This surprise disclosure changes Jacy's life forever. She no longer understands who she is or where she belongs. If people know her secret she will be ostracised by the whites and not at all accepted by, what she has been taught, the inferior race. Also, her biological mother and brother are still working on the plantation. As she begins to know her relatives and a handsome, remember that word, and very protective horse trainer called Rafe, she starts to believe that she can mix and mingle with them and she starts to see another type of living in the deep south.

And then, dear old mom decides to sell Jacy's family and they leave for the North using the Underground Railroad. This turns out to be a very dangerous journey where Jacy and her family meet many people, good and bad. Jacy and her new family are trying to look for a spanking new life of freedom and where their future will be and, also, Jacy will hopefully find out where she really belongs.

Quill Says: This is a powerful story set in Pre-Civil War days in the deep south. The author has obviously studied the workings of the Underground Railroad and done truly amazing research.

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