In this historical look at the life of Anthony Burns, an escaped slave who flees to Boston in 1854, author Virginia Hamilton evokes a stunning portrayal of human hope and compassion. Twenty-year-old Anthony Burns is, at last, an escaped slave, yet a new story of struggle is just beginning. Arrested at the insistence of his owner, Anthony is put on trial under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Readers sail back through time and are introduced to the chain of events that divided the city, and caused lawyers, ministers, and "ordinary people" to stand up and speak out in order to prevent Burns from being returned to his owner. Hamilton focuses on how Burns remains a man of integrity and strength in the face of frequent mistreatment, and in doing so, gives readers the pure essence of his character providing a more personal and intimate look at a man who made a nation pause and consider its own political agenda. A truly riveting historical novel that brings the issues of race and prejudice to the surface.