The Safe Room
B. A. Shapiro
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How long can murder haunt a family? Until the wrong is put right and the victim is able to rest in peace. Set in Lexington, Massachusetts, The Safe Room is a story of such a murder and such a haunting. A psychological thriller, the tale toggles between the eve of the Civil War and present day. It follows the doomed love affair of Silas Person, a runaway slave riding the Underground Railroad, and Sarah Harden, the daughter of a famous abolitionist. Sarah and Silas’s story is intertwined with that of Lee Seymour, a modern-day descendant of the Harden family who must suddenly grapple with a world in which murder and ghosts are all too real.
The Safe Room is a suspenseful tale that employs love and the paranormal to explore the ugliness of injustice and the beauty of human hope.
way the rooms were set up wasn’t too practical. Trina winced at what she was thinking. Like she knew anything about houses and what made them practical. Trina followed Beth into Clara’s room because she didn’t know what else to do. It was nice in there. Lots of windows and a painted floor with these small rugs that looked as if some little kid had made them. Clara picked up a stack of books from a chair and told Trina to sit down in it. The cousin frowned and sat on the edge of the bed. “As
first time since I had found Gram in the cellar. Perhaps my mother had a point after all: life did march along no matter how much you wished it was still last week. And who would have guessed a week ago that it would be Michael’s mom who was still alive and Gram who was dead? I sighed. “Are you going to start going through the things in the bedroom?” Beth looked down at her hands. I noticed her nail polish was chipped—something she would never tolerate under normal circumstances—and the cuticle
shall take the path of least resistance for the present. December 14, 1858 Papa had Silas come up and take dinner with us today. Although she made it abundantly clear that she disapproved, Mrs. Harrington cooked roast beef with potatoes and turnips and her famous rice pudding. She would not sit at the table with us, and instead pretended she had too many chores to take the time to eat. She fooled no one. Caleb engaged Silas in a lively discussion of the Bible and the work of Harriet Beecher
there was much talk of the great injustices of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the “conspiracy of silence” perpetrated by those who prosper from exploiting the Negro, the party was most enjoyable. There were twenty in attendance for dinner including Lawrence Cabot Adams and Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Thayer Perkins. There were cold oysters and oyster pate and three kinds of wine. I was seated next to Wendell Parker whose talk was more lively than usual, although I dare say it was a few too many
of the carriage to be brought into the house under cover of darkness. I am most impressed with their cleverness. They are building a door with concealed hinges that opens into a space no one would ever suspect is there! It is behind the landing of the staircase, between the east and west parlors. It is most exciting! But I must say no more, as these days there are many bounty hunters about, and Mr. Harrison Gray Otis spoke of Papa at one of his Whig meetings, calling him a “d—abolitionist” and a