Based on the true story of two slaves who fled their owners with white women into the wilderness of north-central Pennsylvania, The Indigo Scarf interprets the little known legacy of slavery persisting in the north during the nineteenth century. Meticulously researched, the author’s work is informed by scholars in early American slave laws and northern black codes, by experts in post-colonial folkways, and by descendants who live to this day in the fugitive settlement their forbears established. While The Indigo Scarf relates the covert workings of sympathetic Quakers, the ruthlessness of a slave catcher, and the irony of a Revolutionary War veteran forced to face his daughter’s love for the slave Jedediah James, it treats the deeper theme of the spirit-breaking impact slavery has had across generations since abolition.
Though shadowed in whiskey-making and timber-pirating, The Indigo Scarf is a paean to devotion, testing the lengths a woman will go to save her man from a burning vengeance as he confronts the privations of a wild frontier while his former owner schemes his return. On a broader scale, the story is a testament to the perseverance and vision of pioneer women who devoted themselves to planting in their offspring the seeds of hope for liberty which may only be realized by descendants they would never know.
Woven between scenes spanning a forbidden, historically based slave marriage on a plantation in Virginia’s tidewater region to a tragic liquor operation on the Susquehanna’s un-peopled and feral West Branch during the frontier decades after Pennsylvania’s last Indian purchase, the narrator’s own sub-tale culminates in her realization of how a pioneer-woman ancestor had destined her to break the generational chain of bondage.
What Others Are Saying:
“A wonderful tale with glimpses of classics like Gone With The Wind, Roots and one of my all-time favorites, Amistad.” -- Ken Bangs, author of Guardians In Blue
“A fascinating, rich story.” -- Lee Byrd, Publisher, Cinco Puntos Press
"Epic in scope, The Indigo Scarf offers a cautionary tale that spans decades as characters confront the brutal legacy of slavery. Historically anchored, and set geographically in a wilderness both harsh and spirit-breaking, Piccirillo confronts--among many--themes of redemption and bitterness, loyalty and freedom. Told in a clear-edged prose, I found myself carried deeper and deeper into the events and lives of these characters. And without ever being instructed on how to interpret or feel, I nonetheless finished the novel thinking about the myriad lessons for our troubled times." -- Jack Driscoll, author of The Goat Fish and the Lover's Knot
“A well-researched and beautifully written novel about slavery and its lingering effects even after freedom has been gained. The book is loosely based on a unique community which once existed in the Pennsylvania Appalachians. The novel spans the lives of three generations who lived along the Susquehanna River and Sinnemahoning Creek in the wilds of central Pennsylvania, and paints a vivid picture of their lives. It was hard to put this book down as the plot built to a shattering conclusion. I kept thinking about the novel for days after I finished it, and to me, that is a sign of good literature - the need to revisit, and discuss, and revise interpretations. I look forward to rereading it soon.” Amazon Reviewer
“…well-written historical fiction. I appreciated the detail and research that no doubt went into the making of this book.” J.D. DeHart, Goodreads Reviewer
“I really enjoyed reading this historical novel, the characters were great and they felt like they were meant to be in the time that the novel took place.” Kay Mcleer, Goodreads Reviewer.
“Gives one a glimpse of the challenges one may have faced after being freed from slavery. The challenges of settling in a remote area. Well written. Very descriptive. A book that keeps me up all night reading and makes me think, even several days after finished, is in my opinion a grand book for all to read. I already want to read again.” Amazon Reviewer
Author: PJ Piccirillo
Page Count: 331
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: July 1, 2019
Imprint: Brown Posey
FICTION / African American / Historical
FICTION / Romance / Historical / American
FICTION / Historical / General