Wissahickon Souls is historical fiction set in the Philadelphia area in the early 19th century, and is a story of love, regret and reconciliation. The story follows the life of Claire Penniman, a free black woman born to free black parents in Philadelphia.
Claire is indentured to Wissahickon Farm at the age of 6 in order to receive an education. Claire is an unlikely but highly likable heroine, and the reader joins her on her journey toward adulthood against the alternating backdrops of Philadelphia, a rural farm, and Haiti, as each location becomes almost another character in the story. Claire’s story fills a gap in American memory that marginalizes 19th century African American lives.
This novel will appeal to readers who love to enter a time and place where they walk alongside characters they get to know as friends. Though Claire’s world defines a person by the color of his or her skin, Claire’s destiny is to bear witness to the truth that illuminates the color of souls.