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“A stunning tale of life in Georgia in the years leading up to the Civil War. The fictional characters are as real as the historical ones.”
Dr. John Duncan, Professor Emeritus, Armstrong Atlantic State University


Though Savannah’s beautiful squares and architecture were already acclaimed in antebellum years, the city also struggled with dramatic challenges. A third of the population was enslaved. A steamship explosion killed many of its leading citizens. A local businessman tried to reopen the slave trade. And events were leading, inevitably, to civil war.

Into this fascinating locale two young men are thrust: Joseph, a plantation owner’s son, destined for a life of privilege, and Andrew, who is enslaved and being trained to manufacture bricks.

But many things in Savannah were not as we might think, and the two boys become inseparable friends. They grow up to face the contradictions that surround them: the graciousness and the violence, the accomplishments and the tragedies. They help build some of the city’s greatest architecture. They become ensnared in the illegal slave ship expedition of the Wanderer, which landed 400 Africans on the Georgia coast, tore apart Savannah, and edged the country closer to war.

Both Joseph and Andrew face life-changing choices, made more difficult by the sweep of national politics. Can these two individuals maintain their friendship? And if so, at what price?

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