Refiner's Fire Book # 3. Kitty, a house slave, always figured it was easiest to do what she'd always done--obey Missy and follow orders. But when word arrives that the Yankees are coming, Kitty is faced with a decision: will she continue to follow the bidding of her owners, or will she embrace this chance for freedom? Never allowed to have ideas of her own, Kitty is overwhelmed by the magnitude of her decision. Yet it is her hope to find the "happy ever after" ending to her life--and to follow Grady, whom she loves--that is the driving force behind her choice. Where will it lead her?
This book was very difficult for me to read because of the terrible inhumane and disturbing persecution the Negro people received from their white owners during the American Civil War. For the slightest thing these poor souls endured physical punishment that was so undeserved. The emotional abuse they suffered was equally as horrifying but their unwavering “faith” carried them through these dark times.
The story centers mostly around Kitty and Grady. Kitty was a house slave to a white, spoiled, brat, named Missy Claire. Kitty figured it was easier to obey Missy’s every command no matter how trivial, that way she wouldn’t be given “40 lashes” or sent back to the deplorable conditions on “Slave Row”. She wasn’t allowed to learn to read or write, to have any thoughts or ideas of her own as she was “too stupid” and as a result found it impossible to make any type of decision on her own. Eventually, Kitty is faced with a decision that SHE MUST make for herself—a chance at freedom! Will she stay with Missy Claire where she is comfortable with her surroundings, knowing what each day would bring, or will she take a chance on freedom and never have to be “owned” or “obey” again in her life? Is familiarity and oppression less scary for her than her own freedom?
Grady is only nine-years-old when he is ripped away from his mother and sold at a slave auction. His life is filled with beatings that bring him to his knees in pain, lashings that rip the skin and muscle open on his back exposing bone and almost bleeding to death. His first master is a violent slave trader named, Coop. But by the time, Coop loses Grady in a poker game, Grady is already filled with such rage, anger, and hatred all the time. Although the other slaves often tried to instil a faith and love for God in him, Grady wouldn’t have any part in religion whatsoever. If this God was supposed to be so loving and caring, He sure didn’t feel that way about Grady, or so he thought. Will Grady ever have a chance in life to experience freedom and be able to exact the revenge on white people he so deeply desires, or because of his deep-seated anger and hatred will he stay locked in a life of perpetual abuse?
This novel broke my heart and made me cry in agony for the suffering of people just because their skin was a different colour. However, the book is also filled with many examples of deep faith, courage, strength, and an undying hope for a future that is filled with determination and freedom.
The last in the “Refiner’s Fire Series”, A LIGHT TO MY PATH, is not a historical fiction novel I will soon forget. The amount of research that went into the writing of this novel is amazing as the details are extremely accurate. I would highly recommend this series to anyone but especially those whose favourite genre is ‘historical fiction’.