Publication Date: April 2, 2024
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The paths of three young Black women in pre-Civil War Philadelphia unexpectedly—and dangerously—collide in this debut novel inspired by the explosive history of a divided city.
Philadelphia, 1837. After Charlotte escaped from the crumbling White Oaks plantation down South, she’d expected freedom to feel different from her former life as an enslaved housemaid. After all, Philadelphia is supposed to be the birthplace of American liberty. Instead, she’s locked away playing servant to her white-passing father, as they both attempt to hide their identities from slavecatchers who would destroy their new lives.
Longing to break away, Charlotte befriends Nell, a budding abolitionist from one of Philadelphia’s wealthiest Black families. Just as Charlotte starts to envision a future, a familiar face from her past reappears: Evie, her friend from White Oaks, has been brought to the city by the plantation mistress, and she’s desperate to escape. But as Charlotte and Nell conspire to rescue her, in a city engulfed by race riots and attacks on abolitionists, they soon discover that fighting for Evie’s freedom may cost them their own.
All We Were Promised is the story of three women in vastly different circumstances—the rebel, the socialite, and the fugitive—risking everything for one another in an American city straining to live up to its loftiest ideals.
Story Locale:Philadelphia, 1837
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