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The Freedom Star by [Andrews, Jeff]
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The Freedom Star Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 339 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description


The Freedom Star is a riveting, character-driven saga of two families, one owned by the other, at the outbreak of America’s Civil War. One reader calls it, “Powerful and evocative.” Another describes it as, “Just one of those special books.”

The year is 1860. A young slave named Isaac toils in the tobacco fields while longing for the freedom that Henry, his boyhood friend and owner’s son, takes for granted. Awaiting his chance to escape, he steals away under cover of darkness to shepherd others on their journey north along the Underground Railroad.

When war comes, Henry enlists to fight for Virginia. In his absence, Patrick, his older brother, seizes control of the family farm. Fear grips the slave quarters as Patrick’s harsh new ways become law. Suddenly, slaves feel the sting of the whip, Patrick sells Isaac’s father, and Isaac’s mother must now shield her children, as well as Henry’s invalid father, from Patrick’s greed-driven brutality.

Following false promises and failed escapes, Isaac’s only hope of reuniting with the woman he loves lies in joining Henry and the Rebels on their march north. When Henry is wounded and taken prisoner, Isaac is finally behind Union lines and free, but facing a choice: should he follow his dreams north or return to slavery to save his friend?

The Freedom Star unfolds against the backdrop of the Civil War, bringing added tension to this gripping family drama. One reader said, “Jeff Andrews paints a vivid picture of the civil war slave life. His character development is superb. By the end of the story, you feel like you know each of the characters intimately.”


“Riveting and real - Just two words to describe this wonderful book.”

“A Wonderful Story - Transporting me back in time, I was pulled into the lives of the slaves and the slave owners. Mr. Andrews created characters that soon either won my heart or made my blood boil.”

“Fantastic - ...impossible to put down, which resulted in me staying up way too late for too many nights. It has been quite sometime since I have become this involved in a book. A MUST read!”

“Fascinating Novel - The author did a wonderful job creating believable, three-dimensional characters and portraying realistic scenarios and interactions between them.”

“Great story with characters that will be hard to forget -A very well-written story that will stay with you well after the last pages are read.”

“Strongly recommended! - The characters are so real I miss them now that I have finished reading the book.”

About the Author

Jeff Andrews grew up in Moorestown, New Jersey, a stone's throw from Philadelphia and a short drive to the Jersey shore. After graduating from Baldwin-Wallace College (now Baldwin-Wallace University), he set off on a twenty-year adventure with the United States Marine Corps, rolling up his sleeves and getting down to business in such exotic settings as Vietnam, Japan, Egypt, Morocco, Denmark, Brazil, and Beirut, Lebanon. Along the way, he picked up a graduate degree from George Washington University. Jeff is a member of the Society of Civil War Historians and his love of history inspires his writing. He strives to create an experiential connection to our past through rich, character-driven stories spun across a carefully-researched historical tapestry. Jeff and his wife, Mary Lou, live in Virginia Beach, VA and enjoy every opportunity to lace up their hiking boots and trudge across the plantations, battlefields, and historic parks of the Old Dominion.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1821 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Eiger Press (Nov. 16 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008R35KOS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,710 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

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I couldn't put this book down. The novel follows the life and hardships of a young black slave at the start of the American civil war. The brutal treatment of slaves by most Southerners is contrasted by a few owners who - although subscribing to slavery as a necessary and morally correct institution - do try to treat their slaves 'humanely'. A well written book; I look forward to the sequel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa09729f0) out of 5 stars 150 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13cf39c) out of 5 stars The Freedom Star by Jeff Andrews Aug. 21 2012
By Marlie - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. From the very first sentence, it was a page-turner for me. I loved the way the author developed the characters. Each was easy to love or dislike and I could feel their despair and their hope. It was a real story with a beginning and ending that were easy to follow although the ending has left me with a question which I don't want to reveal here because it would give away too much. Very well done ... a good read.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13cf5e8) out of 5 stars Don't miss this brilliant debut novel Aug. 1 2012
By Lauran Strait - Published on
Format: Paperback
Pulitzer Prize winner and war correspondent John Hersey once said: "Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it." Jeff Andrews' brilliant debut novel, The Freedom Star, which is an example of fiction at its best, transports readers back in time, allowing them to experience Virginia life in the 1860s.

Starting out strong and continuing at a relentless pace of non-stop adventure, The Freedom Star immerses readers in the lives, dreams, and sufferings of two families--one slave and one master--each bound to the other by the tobacco fields of South Boston, Virginia. The heart of this exciting tale revolves around Isaac, a young slave who yearns for the freedom that Henry McConnell, his friend and owner's son, takes for granted. After false promises, failed escapes, imprisonment, and the sting of his master's whip, Isaac's only hope of fleeing slavery and reuniting with the woman he loves lies in accompanying Henry and the Confederates on their march north. When Yankees wound Henry and take him prisoner, Isaac finds himself behind the Union lines, free, but with a choice to continue north toward his dream or to return to slavery to save his friend.

Andrews' meticulous research skillfully and accurately blends Isaac's experiences with those of actual people living during this time. Through clever use of intense dialogue and internal monologue masterfully rendered, Andrews captures the flavor of the area, times, and inter-relations between slaves and non-slaves. The fictional dream, vivid and continuous throughout this story, hooks the reader from the start and stays with them long after the last words are read.

The Freedom Star is a must read that deserves to be on every best sellers list.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13cf828) out of 5 stars A Smart Slave, a Confederate Soldier, and Destiny Sept. 5 2012
By Dennis Zeunert - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, this novel takes place over the American Civil War era, but unlike previous books, it is not concerned with the strategies of presidents and generals, but rather the stresses on ordinary people. It adroitly covers the lives of a plantation owner's son, Henry, and teenage slave, Isaac. Their enduring companionship from childhood is in stark contrast to Isaac's struggles against slave-driven plantations, and West Point cadet Henry's alarm at the widening schism between North and South.

Isaac plans his eventual freedom, hoping sometime to follow the north running slaves he assists along the Underground Railroad. And Henry, disturbed when the South attacks Fort Sumter, prefers the nation stay together, yet follows the Virginia Infantry Volunteers to war.

The well crafted, though slow developing, stories of Isaac and Henry run parallel from the start, with minimal interaction between the two, like jumping back and forth between two books, however, the independent dramas finally merge when Henry, shot and wounded by Northern soldiers, returns to his family plantation to recover. Later, Henry and Isaac, his servant, proceed to the confederate battle lines. Intense combat inspires desperate, noble men to make bold decisions and shocking sacrifices.

Isaac experiences marginal ups and severe downs as if living Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong will go wrong). His heartbreaking downfalls and miraculous comebacks would make a fascinating movie.

For those interested in 1860s American life, Andrews's exhaustive research will satisfy every curiosity. "--- a Christmas tree bedecked with strings of popped corn, garlands, and candied fruits." Powered by a steam engine, "A rhythmic pounding filled the room as leather belts and metal pulleys transferred power to lathes, drills, and saws, while heat from the engine circulated through a wood-drying kiln."

And Andrews's articulation of period diction is remarkable. "But I didn't get kilt, and you didn't get took up by them pattyrollers, neither." "O-one more w-word outta you and I'll blow a hole clean through your lying hide. Now t-turn this here wagon around. We's going to Yanceyville."
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13cf9cc) out of 5 stars The Freedom Star Aug. 30 2012
By M. Owens - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fans of the Civil War face an almost limitless array of choices. No conflict has sparked so many pages it seems. But as captivating as accounts of battles and leaders might be, it is easy to lose sight of the intensely personal issues of this great conflict. Freedom Star brings the reader up close to two characters who frame the issues of the Civil War in a way that no battle portrayals can. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Isaac, a young slave, and Henry, his boyhood chum, the author sets up a tense scenario of conflicting goals: Isaac wants freedom. Henry, whose father owns Isaac along with the rest of his family, cannot understand Isaac's discontent. The war stretches the bonds of lifelong friendships and reshapes relationships. Freedom Star breathes new life into an old story, and the narrative is made even stronger because of the writer's strong military background. Don't miss this one!!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13cf8a0) out of 5 stars Strongly recommended! Jan. 23 2013
By Ang - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I friend asked me just last night which book I liked best, The Freedom Star or The Gandy Dancer. I told her it is a difficult question because they are both very well written. I loved The Gandy Dancer but I think I loved The Freedom Star more, but they are both wonderful and exceptional books. Strongly recommended!! The characters are so real I miss them now that I have finished reading the book.