Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost wins prestigious book award

Steal Away Home: One Woman's Epic Flight to Freedom-and Her Long Road Back to the South by Karolyn Smardz Frost (HarperCollins Ltd., 2017) is the winning entry of the 2017 Speaker’s Book Award. The Honourable Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, made the announcement during a ceremony at the Ontario Legislature last night.

Steal Away Home recounts the story of Cecilia Reynolds, a fugitive slave from Kentucky, who was just fifteen-years-old when she escaped into Ontario across the Niagara River while her owners were vacationing in Niagara Falls. From there, she ventured to Toronto where she married Underground Railroad conductor Benjamin Holmes. The author’s impeccable research and vivid description takes the reader through the Civil War, the shameful backdrop of slavery, the history of the Underground Railroad in Ontario and the very real and stirring tale of one woman’s struggle for freedom—and her return to her former home on her own terms, despite the risk involved.

Launched by Speaker Levac in 2012, the Speaker’s Book Award aims to bring awareness to books written by Ontarians covering historical, regional, cultural, or parliamentary aspects of the province. For more information, please visit the Speaker’s Book Award web site.

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