Young Elias suffers from tuberculosis and is sent to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky for experimental treatments by Dr. Croghan who hopes the cool cave air will aid in recovery. In the 1840s there were few proven treatments for tuberculosis (consumption). Elias does thrive under the treatment and soon goes exploring into the depths of the cave with the slaves who guide tours and explore the cave. One of the other patients has hidden his true purpose for being in the cave and threatens the careful work of the slaves.
Combining the exploration of Mammoth Cave, tuberculosis and the Underground Railroad, three seemingly unrelated items into a historical fiction adventure is another example of the author’s writing expertise. The story has a slow and deliberate pace opening with the experimental treatments, then delving into the dangerous exploration of Mammoth Cave. I very much enjoyed two of the author’s other books, Shift and A Moment Comes , but I had a difficult time connecting with this book. Recommended for readers who want a gentle adventure and enjoy caves and history.
eGalley review Publication date 7.21.15