A rousing good story and two strong female protagonists make this novel of the Underground Railroad an energetic work of historical fiction. Juxtaposed with the story of Afrika, a slave escaping to Canada via the hidden network, is the story of Lucy, seeking freedom from the tyranny of her privileged but stifling upbringing in 19th-century Boston society. As Afrika gains ground through a series of suspenseful incidents and near misses, Lucy discovers her abolitionist grandfather's secret and finds herself coming to terms with her own feelings about slavery. Alternating chapters of the girls' separate stories skillfully intersect when Afrika appears in the study of Lucy's grandfather, hidden inside a clock, paving the way for a dramatic and satisfying ending. The two adolescent girls, so full of passion and will, so full of fire, give this volume its verve. Lucy and Afrika are vivacious fictional heroines striving against a backdrop of actual events and real players; they reveal underlying truths in the sad histories of many a slave.