Crossings: Battle Lines: Part 1

In 1830, eighteen-year-old Samuel Callahan has only ever known a life of being enslaved under the pressing hand of his brutal and ambitious politician father. But love, hatred, and opportunities thrust him into unexpected liberty, where, like an orphan, he finds himself unbearably lost and shaken. Afflicted by years of bondage that Sam has yet to break, his anger toward God's justice and character leads him to ask, "What kind of god is he?" In his brokenness, he thinks about how badly he wants to know the answer to his question.

Sam is challenged not only by his newfound freedom but also by the woman he loves, a troubled younger brother, unlikely friends, determined enemies, and the rapid aggressive unfolding of history where multiple worlds collide. His path crosses with real figures like Edward Coles, Chief Black Hawk, Abraham Lincoln, and Winfield Scott. He lands himself accidentally in the Black Hawk War, joyfully on a steamboat to Saint Louis, and determinedly on the ever-developing National Road to Washington, DC. Sam's crossings help to shape him into someone new, but still he finds himself struggling to surrender his anger. Crossing at the middle of everything he endures is a father's love and how he lets it define him, which Sam increasingly comes to see as a battle line.

--T. M. Ward