Learned Some New History

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The time period for Robin Lloyd’s book is shortly after the Civil War has ended in 1865. Slavery has supposedly ended but is not recognized or accepted by some in the South. When former slaves start disappearing, there are rumors these freedmen have been kidnapped and taken to Cuba where slavery is still very much in effect. The vast sugar plantations need more workers and former Confederate soldiers like the money they are paid to provide them.

Naval Lieutenant Everett Townsend is drawn into this conflict. To pursue justice for the former slaves he fought to free, he agrees to become a government informant. He has put himself in not only a dangerous situation, but an uncomfortable one with his Spanish grandmother who has slaves on her sugar plantation. In the story there are family complications, danger from ruthless smugglers, and political issues Townsend finds himself involved with. There is also some romance added with a Cuban-American woman Townsend cares for who has alined herself with Cuban rebels resisting Spanish rule. This was a dangerous time for many Cubans. This was also a sad time for many African Americans and Chinese who were brought into slavery in Cuba.

Mr. Lloyd has researched well and provided a glimpse of Cuban history in the 1860s as well as an interesting story. I thank BookishFirst and Lyons Press for my copy of Hidden Cargo.