Love Twelve Miles Long

By NY Journal of Books

…In a story brimming with hope and love, the real-life horrors of slavery lie elsewhere, where an older audience can grapple with them. The author’s note gives additional information about Frederick Douglass, who changed his surname in order to obscure his identity from the master he escaped. Douglass wrote that his mother, Harriet Bailey, taught him a powerful lesson: that he was not “only a child but somebody’s child.” How remarkable that she accomplished this under such constrained circumstances.

But let us leave the mother with her miles to go before she sleeps. We can all use a comforting story of love, even—or especially—if it is ripped from a brutal past.