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All We Were Promised - three women's lives intersect in Philadelphia during the abolitionist movement.

It's 1837, Philadelphia. After Charlotte and her father escaped the southern plantation where they lived as slaves, life was supposed to improve for the young woman. But her light-skinned father has reinvented himself as a white furniture maker and Charlotte is left to serve as his housemaid. She sneaks out and meets Nell, a member of the city's affluent Black society. Her new friend introduces Charlotte to her group of women's abolitionists. Excited to become involved in such an important cause, Charlotte has to hide her identity as although she is now free, she lives in fear of being discovered by bounty hunters as a runaway slave. In the marketplace, she sees Evie from afar, one of the slaves she left behind when she escaped and someone as close to her as a sister. Can Charlotte and Nell help save Evie? And if Charlotte is discovered, will she risk being enslaved again?


Author Ashton Lattimore's All We Were Promised delves into the pre-Civil War period in a city that was supposed to be the place that offered the greatest freedom for free-born Black men and women as well as newly freed slaves. Although Philadelphia was filled with strong abolitionist organizing, there were also large anti-Black riots and protests. While a book of fiction, there are several historical figures featured alongside the three women who band together in this compelling book. The author did an excellent job researching the story making the characters feel very authentic. It's an impressive debut.


Many thanks to Ballantine Books | Random House for the opportunity to read this book in advance of its publication.


Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Historical Fiction.

Publication Date: April 2, 2024.


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