It is 1848.
On one side of the Mason-Dixon Line lives fifteen-year-old Willow, her master’s favorite servant. She’s been taught to read and has learned to write. She is permitted to spend much of her time riding her horse to the riverbank, where she writes letters to her dead mother. On the other side of the line is seventeen-year-old Cato, a black man, free born. It’s his personal mission to sneak as many fugitive slaves to freedom as he can. He does it both because he abhors slavery and to prove to his father that he is a man. When Willow’s and Cato’s lives intersect, they will discover the true meanings of bondage and freedom, of family and love.
Tonya Cherie Hegamin’s moving coming-of-age story is a poignant meditation on the many ways a person can be enslaved and the force of will necessary to be truly emancipated.