Rita Woods’ Remembrance is a genre-defying novel transcending time and place – jumping from modern day Ohio to Haiti in 1791 to New Orleans and the Underground Railroad in 1857. Read more to discover where the debut novelist found her inspiration.
By Rita Woods
History has always been a bit of an obsession of mine. It is one reason I haunt old cemeteries and abandoned buildings, much to the dismay of my family.
But it is the history of my ancestors that resonates most strongly for me. In particular, those ancestors that spent their lives enslaved, and the Underground Railroad which became a path to freedom. How did these people, most of whom could not read or write make their way? How did they have the courage to leave behind siblings, children, and step into the unknown, trusting (hoping?) that something better would be there?
One weekend, at a friend’s house, I happened to pick up a book about quantum mechanics. Why this friend, who is an artist, had this book, and why I thought to begin thumbing through it, will remain a mystery, but I was quickly fascinated. I can’t recall the exact title of the book but it was essentially a sort of Quantum Mechanics for dummies.
Dumbed down or not, most of it just made my brain hurt. I mean does anyone REALLY know how a FAX machine works? Well, I mean someone must but . . .
In any case, my main take away from the book was that time and space are not fixed, and that reality is perspective. A few weeks later, while walking through a family graveyard on an abandoned farm in Ohio, I was struck by a ‘what if’ moment.
What if by altering time and space one could create a new world, a parallel world, a world that exists both within and apart from the world we experience? And what if that world was a stop on the Underground Railroad?
And thus, Remembrance was born, a sanctuary for runaway slaves created by Mother Abigail using her own innate powers and that of Vodun to manipulate space and time.
Remembrance is the story of four women across three centuries, linked by loss and courage who each have the power to bend the world.
I truly hope you enjoy it.
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