Tuesday, September 06, 2022



Tessa Scott is supposed to survey a property as a favor to the grandmother of her childhood sweetheart.  She doesn’t have time to take on any new jobs but she reluctantly agrees to survey that property.  Tessa discovers an old battered journal hidden inside the fireplace of an old house.  The journal dates back to 1796 and was written by a woman named Ona Judge.  She was a slave and lived in the house of George and Martha Washington.  Tessa hesitantly decides to read the journal, but once she begins to read the story of Ona Judge she is completely enthralled.  Tessa is dealing with many things in her own life, she has health issues, a controlling boyfriend and family issues.  While reading of the struggles and courage that Ona faced and survived, made Tessa strong in knowing that she too can overcome her obstacles.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I found it to be phenomenal.  The dual timeline is one that I enjoy very much.  The author does a fantastic job of intertwining the past and the present while at the same time teaches the reader of what time was like in the late 1700’s.  I was completely enthralled with this book and found it unputdownable.  I learned so much history about this era and I thought the storyline was very realistic.  I felt compassion and sorrow for Ona Judge and those that were in her situation. I felt a heavy heart as I thought about this story long after I finished it.  This is a book that will resonate in my heart for quite some time.  I was inspired and heartbroken throughout this wonderfully written story.  I devoured this book but the remembrance of it will last me a lifetime.  I can’t recommend this one enough, written by such a masterful storyteller….WOW!!!  I wish I could give ten stars.

Thank you Suzette D. Harrison for such a phenomenal story.  This was a wonderful, thought provoking and fast-paced story.  I really enjoyed it and I absolutely recommend it.  


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Author:  Suzette D. Harrison
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: September 6, 2022 
Pages: 352 
Buy on Amazon 

New Hampshire, 1796. “My name is Ona Judge, and I escaped from the household of the President of the United States. I was the favored maid of George and Martha Washington, but they deemed me a slave and thought me property, and I hear ten dollars is offered as reward for my capture. Now I must write the truth that I have lived, and tell my story…”

Chincoteague, Virginia, present day. Rain soaks Tessa Scott as she runs from her car to the old, vine-covered property she has been called to survey. She’s too busy to accept a new job, but doing this favor for the grandmother of her childhood sweetheart delays a painful decision she must make about a future with her controlling boyfriend.

But when Tessa finds a tattered journal carefully hidden inside the house’s ancient fireplace, the tragic story of how Ona was ripped from her mother’s arms to live and work in the palatial Mount Vernon, and the heart-shattering betrayal that led her to risk her life and run, has Tessa spellbound. Could discovering this forgotten scandal at the heart of her nation’s history force her to confront her own story? As she races to reach the final page, will anything prepare her for the desperate moment when Ona’s captors find her again? Will it inspire Tessa to take ownership of her own life and set herself free?


Suzette D. Harrison, a native Californian and the middle of three daughters, grew up in a home where reading was required, not requested. Her literary "career" began in junior high school with the publishing of her poetry. While Suzette pays homage to Alex Haley, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison as legends who inspired her creativity, it was Dr. Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings that unleashed her writing. The award-winning author of Taffy is a wife and mother of two teens, and she holds a culinary degree in pastry and baking. Mrs. Harrison is currently cooking up her next novel...in between batches of cupcakes.

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  1. Caroline, I am utterly grateful for such a beautiful review. And I treasure the fact that Ona & Tessa's journeys resonated deeply within you. Thank you!

    1. Suzette D. Harrison Books it was a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it. #BookLove📚♥️📚