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Friday, August 19, 2011

Across The Wide River

Your freedom. How often do you think about it? Do you take it for granted? Are you willing to fight for it?

Lowry Rankin's family have been freedom fighters for quite some time. They are living in the midst of the war against slavery. While others think it's their God-given right to own one, the Rankin family is willing to risk their own lives to help slaves find freedom in whatever states in the US and Canada are willing to treat men as equals.

John Rankin is a minister. A minister that believes that we should treat all men as the Bible tells us to and isn't afraid to teach about it in his church. However he can't be all places at the same time, and when a childhood friend is whipped to the point of death, the family believes its time to move from Kentucky to Ohio and begin over again. There are too many people that believe that there is nothing wrong with owning a slave, while he believes they deserve the same freedoms his family does.

The Rankin's become one of the first families to use their home as a station for the Underground Movement. Just when Lowry thinks that his life has no point and school is unnecessary, his father has him help move men in the middle of the night to the next safe house. When a tortured and beaten slave by the name of David tells him during his rescue that he will forever remember Lowry, suddenly he feels a different calling in his life.

I received Across The Wide River by Stephanie Reed compliments of Kregel Publications for my honest review and in the process learned about a true story in the process. This book just isn't a story about the Underground Railroad movement but about the story of the Rankin family and their role as abolitionists at the time. They too had much to fear if people found out they were helping slaves to freedom. She spent years researching the material for this book and in the process we can see just how difficult this time in history was for everyone involved.

This book is founded on the faith of Jesus Christ that is evident by the way they shared God with those that they helped along their journey to freedom. I rate this book a moving 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it! For more information about this book, the author and where to get a copy for yourself, please click on the links below:

You can also find out more about the Rankin family by going to and search for the name Rankin and find the Ripley Anti-Slavery Society charter when the names of Lowry and Ibby Rankin along with other Ripley resident are entered. You can even find photos of John and Jean Rankin, Lowry's parents.

To follow Stephanie on Facebook, click here.


  1. thanks for introducing this novel. i'm writing it down on my list.

  2. Wow, this one sounds fantastic. Definitely another one to add to my list. Stories of the Underground Railroad fascinate me. I wonder if I would have had the strength and courage to do what these people did.

    2 Kids and Tired Books

  3. Kathleen, thank you for such an in-depth review. I love seeing your thoughts about the Rankin family's sacrifices. They had to make a decision to do what was right at all costs, and the Lord certainly brought them through incredible difficulties. I'm amazed that the Lord saved this story for me to share, imperfect as I am, and I'm grateful that He let the message shine through.

    Holly, I like your question: could I have rescued slaves? I ask myself that all the time, and so did the main character, eldest son Lowry. I believe my courage would have failed me many times, but that's when the Lord takes over. Why do I always forget that part? :-) It's a very natural reaction.

    Sidne, thanks for putting me on your list! If you want to read the first two chapters of Across the Wide River or the exciting sequel, The Light Across the River, you can find them here:

    Kathleen, thanks for hosting and sharing your readers with me. It's fun getting to know you on Facebook, and if you ever get your dream house set up (even in Heaven), I want a tour.


Please share with me your comments. I love to know what touched you about this post or how it has blessed you in any way.