A raw-boned, wire-nerved tribute to a life-in-a-mission--that of Harriet Tubman, black heroine of the Underground Railroad, born a slave in Maryland. The narrative begins with Harriet's first knowledge of death--the stench of it--and real loss as her young sister, also a child, is taken away to be sold. The years of growing despair, humiliations and ultimately rage, culminate in the failure of her marriage, the cruel death of her beloved Aunt Juba and finally the sudden knowledge that she will become free. The scrawny young woman from Maryland named Harriet Tubman becomes ""Moses""--as she leads and drives three hundred souls to freedom, as she lectures at abolitionist meetings, as she meets with John Brown, as she becomes a legend to both oppressors and victims. By the use of a harsh, colloquial narrative which spits and flares up again like a banked flame (""Kill that man, Lord, kill what is evil in Your sight""), Heidish approaches the genius of all messiahs--the pain of knowing what is wrong and the implacable will to set it right. A powerful, single-minded testament.