“We can’t force life to do what we want when we want it. We can’t change yesterday or control tomorrow. We can only live for today as best we can. And it might turn out better than expected.” – The Mapmaker’s Children
If I had to describe “The Mapmaker’s Children” in one quote, it would be the above. The quote embodies the life journeys of Sarah and Eden fully. While each of them makes different choices regarding how to best “live only for today”, their choices chronicle their lives and eventual connection to each other in a relatable, human way. If any of us have had to let go of preconceived ideas of what life is all about and embrace an entirely different perspective, the stories of both women will resonate deeply.
I have to admit, parts of this book took a little growing on me before I really got into it. Sarah’s story bounced off the pages immediately for me. The historical narration had me with the book in one hand and my tablet in the other googling some of the events I wasn’t very familiar with. In real life her choices made her a champion though now forgotten trailblazer. Painter, feminist, abolitionist — these are who she became when she put her past to bed and did the best she could day by day. And the creative license the author took with the love story between her and Freddy made for the most engaging read.
Eden (fictional) on the other hand had to grow on me and she frustrated me to no end. Even now I’m at the end of the book, I’m still not sure how I feel about her. I found myself thinking about her story today and wondered if I was sympathetic enough. I found her a little spoiled, self-centered and petulant … almost annoyingly so.
Without giving away any of the storyline details, I’ll admit — in addition to the historical slant, the characteristics which frustrated me about both women are what kept me reading. I just had to find out how each of their stories ended! I eventually enjoyed the fact that although none of the two had perfect lives, they each decided if/when they were going to let go of what they thought life was supposed to be for them and just live. Those decisions made at different times (and centuries) took them both to paths that were so very different from what was supposed to be, but they were courageous, they loved in the moment and the best way they could. Those decisions also connected them in unimaginable ways. What’s inspiring about both ladies is that they kept moving until the unexpected turned out to be just right for each of them.
If you’re a reader who totally engages with the characters (I mean like talking to them like they can hear you … LOLOL), even when they frustrate you, I’d encourage you to take a read. When you’re done, come back and let me know how you feel about them. 😀
Author: Sarah Mc Coy
My favourite book from Sarah Mc Coy: The Baker’s Daughter
disclaimer: this review was done through my affiliation with Blogging For Books. Although I received a copy for review, the thoughts expressed are entirely my own.