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James' Journey

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A son of a Slave owner turns abolitionist and becomes a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
As fierce slavery debates are dividing the country, James Waynewright breaks family tradition and travels to New York to study. Having grown up on a tobacco plantation in Virginia he never questioned how his family’s wealth is generated. In the beginning he is shocked by what he feels are radical ideas of abolition and feels that Northerners have been subject to propaganda. As time goes on, James begins to understand their point of view, and he realizes that he no longer condones slavery.
James falls in love with Katherine Greenfield, an upper class New Yorker and an abolitionist. Due to unforeseen circumstances they hastily marry and return to the plantation. Intending to free their slaves, James and Katherine begin leading double lives in order to help runaways that are escaping north, at the same time having to navigate their neighbors’ increasing suspicion and the slave laws of their state.

407 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 30, 2014

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About the author

Helen Lundström Erwin

3 books28 followers

Helen is one of the first authors in the world who has a setting from one of their books in the Metaverse. The Foremothers Café is a Virtual Reality world inspired by Hanna’s café from her novel, Sour Milk in Sheep’s Wool. Readers can read the book, then travel back in time to Lund, Sweden, and enter one of its major settings.
Helen’s books take you back to the activism and debates of the early reproductive rights, suffrage, and abolitionist movements of the 19th and 20th century.
She is especially inspired by people who had the courage to challenge the beliefs they were raised to accept, thus breaking the cycle of racism, sexism, and injustice.
Helen has received awards and grants for her work and has been featured in Forbes Magazine, on Women’s Herstory Podcast, in the documentary 48 Hours in the Metaverse, in SWEA Magazine, and more.
Find out more here, https://helenerwin.com

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5 stars
17 (60%)
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8 (28%)
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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
April 6, 2015
I love when learning comes for free! By reading James' Journey I learnt a lot about slaves/abolitionists, whithout any effort. Reading the book was pure joy. It was as interesting as exciting. I eagerly await the next book from this author!!!
8 reviews1 follower
March 28, 2015
People think of Lincoln and the Civil War as having ended slavery, but before then, the Abolitionist Movement and the Underground Railroad fought the moral scourge of slavery. In this compelling work of historical fiction set in both the North and South, you get inside the mind of someone who grew up thinking that owning slaves was perfectly normal. Then, by being exposed to a different way of thinking, the protagonist gains a different perspective and realizes that he can no longer accept the unacceptable.

James' Journey is about having the courage to challenge the status-quo, even when it is dangerous and goes against everything you once knew.
3 reviews
April 11, 2015
James' Journey by Helen Lundstrom Erwin is a very well researched historical novel. I love reading books that expand
my knowledge and understanding of events that happened in the past which impact on present day conditions. James' Journey takes place a few years before the Civil War. It tells the story of a slaveowner's son whose outlook on slavery changes dramatically when he goes to Medical School in New York City. The fact that James keeps an open mind to other peoples' ideas shows that he has the strength of character to weigh different beliefs and make up his own mind.
He changes conditions for the better concerning the slaves on his father's plantation which he inherits. I found this book very interesting. It was hard for me to put it down once I started reading it.
Profile Image for Shannon.
3 reviews
February 24, 2015
The tides of social pressure push us toward our fate, however, the brave, the courageous, the free thinkers forge their our fate, create their own destiny. James is such a man. In the face of injustice he has the courage to listen and learn from the voices of dissension and change the course of his own history and, in a small way, the nation's. In this work of historical fiction, Helen Lundström Erwin has woven a captivating tale of social and personal awakening. Her charters are heart-warming and realistic and move the reader to self introspection. Whom among us are willing to jump from the pot of tepid water before being boiled alive, like the proverbial frog, and stand against injustice?
Profile Image for Daniel Damiano.
Author 8 books12 followers
October 14, 2016
Helen Erwin's "James' Journey" is a rich, extremely well-researched journey indeed, as we follow one man's metamorphosis from being a son of slave-owning parents to becoming an enlightened savior. A particular triumph of this book is its depth of character and engaging story, and avoiding the didacticism that a lesser writer might have been content with given its ever-important subject matter. A must-read for those who love rich historically-based stories written with care and intelligence.
Profile Image for Malin.
37 reviews2 followers
January 13, 2015
I really like historical books and this one is great. The subject is very interesting and the people of the book very likable. I wish it had been longer...
Profile Image for Maggie G.
5 reviews
June 23, 2022
Great book. Second book I've read by this author, I hope she writes more.
There is one main character, at first he agrees with what his slave owning parents tell him about the institution of slavery, but then he befriends abolitionists (people who fought against slavery) and his attitudes change little by little.
It's very interesting to read about the political climate of this time and I especially like how you're introduced to both the people who were for slavery and the ones who were abolitionists.
I also loved to see the change in the main character and how much he sacrificed to do what was right even though almost all his neighbors were against him.
August 8, 2022
While this book is set in the US just before the civil war, it's remarkably timely. People were completely divided on the issues and did not understand each other at all. What I loved the most about this book is that the main character shifted sides after having been for slavery when he grew up. You get a deep insight to his thought-processes (and thus what both the slaveowners and the abolitionists thought, both about slavery and about each other.)
It's an emotional read. The end took my breath away and I had to put the book down to just sit with it for several minutes. Brilliant.
1 review
December 7, 2017
As with all great books I miss the characters when finished the novel. The author has got me into their lives and thoughts, I want to meet them again and be with them. Helen Lundstrom Erwin has succeeded with giving two perspectives of the slavery, from the slave owners perspective and of course from the slaves and the abolitionists side. Especially the creepy feeling when the pro-slavery neighbors start to suspect that they have antagonists among them. Must be read!
Profile Image for Michele Millington.
205 reviews6 followers
April 2, 2018
Great book for a book club. Always kept my interest. I rated it high because I felt it had a different perspective on cultures of North/south. It reminded me of the division we have today in our country. No spoiler needed here to tell you the abolitionists win!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
2 reviews
December 18, 2015
A fascinating story, I couldn't put the book down and finished it in two days!
Highly recommended reading, and I look forward to reading more by this author.
A must for those interested in the Underground Railroad and the horrible history of slavery.
Run and get it!
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

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