The narrator of this novel, Malory Carrick, an American woman residing in Britain who returns home to visit her uncle Atlas and to learn the true story of her grandfather from his diaries who had been a "boughten boy" just after the American Civil War. Her grandfather Jonathan Carrick, a white boy is sold into slavery at age 4 for fifteen dollars to a struggling brutal Kansas Tobacco farmer Alvah Stoke. Jonathan lived his adolescence working endlessly at planting, harvesting, picking off tabacco worms, wrapping tobacco plugs, and his ultimate humiliation, getting beat and bullied by his vicious tormentor Stroke's son, George. To the Stoke family Jonathan was " an animal that you need just need to break", but the hatred towards George grew till Jonathan couldn't take anymore and beat him till he was surely dead, then he escaped at the age of 16 taking the Trans. Continental to Denver to finally be free. Twenty years later Jonathan gets an education he has always wanted and soon after he marries, has 4 kids, and becomes a successful farmer. However, he neither forgot nor forgave the past. Soon after he finds out that George Stoke is alive and well as the US Senator now a "fat, cobra of a politician" he becomes Jonathan's target once again.
Joan Brady writes the story with such feeling and heart about her grandfather that it touched me as well. Jonathan Carrick's story is unusual because he was a white slave, which made it more interesting for me to read because you don't hear of cases such as these. The story about Jonathan's life made a serious impact on her family through out the generations and it made me realize how important your families history is. I think Joan Brady did a good job making Jonathan's history one everyone will remember.