This is the story of Sewing Annie who is put under the tutelage of Knitting Annie to learn her skills on the Ridley Plantation. When Knitting Annie dies, Sewing Annie takes up the the black smith by whom she has a boy, Gabriel, and a girl, Ellen. By teaching them her skills, she hopes to save her children from the fields. At 10, Gabriel is sent to Washington DC to apprentice to a tailor. The tailor moves on after selling the shop to the Master. The Master's nephew is put in charge of the store with Gabriel, Sewing Annie, and Ellen running the business.
This is the story of the strength and love of family from before and through the Civil War and after. It is heartwarming and gut wrenching and well worth the read.
The rhythm of the language threw me for a bit from time to time but did not stop me wanting to find out what would happen to this family.
I could feel most of the characters and understand their motivations and enjoyed their growth. The novel is portal into time period well known but from a different vantage. It is so well worth the read.