Thursday, June 26, 2014

Worthy Brown's daughter by Phillip Margolin

Summer reading, isn’t just for kids, and the staff have lots of suggestions to keep everyone entertained through the summer.  Worthy Brown’s daughter by Phillip Margolin is recommended by our head librarian, Mary.

In 1860 Matthew Penny and his wife Rachel decide to go west to create a better life for themselves.  On the way Rachel is killed in an accident and Matthew is inconsolable.  Instead of settling down somewhere he becomes an itinerant lawyer, moving from place to place, taking cases that appeal to him.  He has a very strong commitment to the law and believes that it should not be twisted to suit individuals.  One day, he meets Worthy Brown. Worthy helps Matthew with a case but in return for the information Worthy wants Matthew to help free his indentured daughter from Caleb (a crooked lawyer).  

Margolin offers a story in which characters are not all good or all bad, and circumstances change people as time marches on.  Even our hero Matthew bends a little so that justice, as well as the law, is served.

We learn a great deal of the history of Oregon and slavery laws in pre-civil war United States.  The laws governing the black people who managed to get to a “free” state seem unimaginable in the 21st century.

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