I needed to cleanse my pallet after a summer of reading fiction novels (although they were wonderful), so I picked up a historical fiction to help me get out of my reading rut. Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim was the PERFECT choice. This is the story about a slave named Mattie and how she became the wet nurse to a little white baby girl name Elizabeth, and their relationship as Elizabeth (or Lisbeth, as Mattie called her) got older. Set in the late 1830's-1850's Virginia, the abolition and underground railroad were in the works. Although Mattie never thought she would ever be free, her husband Emmanuel who worked on a different plantation always had that dream for their family.
As Lisbeth grew up, she never lost her attachment to Mattie. Mattie went from wet nurse to maid who dressed the girl, and cared for her like a mother would. Lisbeth was different than her family, although her parents were not horrible slave owners, Lisbeth always knew that the way slaves were treated was wrong. But when it came time to decide who she should marry, Lisbeth knew she could never marry for love while still making her parents happy. But if she followed her heart, she could lose everything she's ever known.
Yellow Crocus is an extremely realistic depiction of the era, with two wonderful heroines who always had the strength to save themselves.