"A powerful yet subtle portrait of life in the U.S. before the Civil War, this story examines what slavery meant to people on two of the three sides. Told in both the past and present, it is a story of innocence, loneliness, and friendship, as Suzanna befriends Bethlehem, a slave in her uncle's home in Virginia. Unaware of the risks and dangers involved, Suzanna teaches Bethlehem to read, then takes her along when she runs away, heading home to Vermont and freedom. The two girls tell their story together, in alternating chapters; their several escapes, problems, and growing friendship reveal understanding, and remorse. The narration, performed by Christina Moore, Barbara Caruso, and Lynne Thigpen, is perfectly matched to the text--we hear both characters age along with the story itself. All three narrators expertly portray the characters' range of emotions, creating a sense of the various times and places they lived in and examining the choices they made along their journey. W.L.S. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"