Martha Hall Kelly has certainly done a well documented amount of research in writing this novel about slavery and the Civil War. The central characters are the seven daughters in the Woolsey family, whose matriarch was Jane Eliza. Jane was horrified after witnessing a slave auction in Charleston, and became a staunch abolitionist, raising her daughters to follow that path as well. Some of the characters are fictional, i.e., Anne-May Watson, the cruel plantation mistress, but her character is based on Kelly’s extensive research. Man’s inhumanity to man is a striking theme throughout; the novel is quite a read at 499 pages, but well worth the effort.