“Demonstrates Lock’s uncanny ability to inhabit historical figures and meticulously capture the vernacular of the time like a transcendentalist ventriloquist. . . . The text interweaves dialogue known to be spoken or written by Thoreau, Emerson, and Hawthorne with that made up by Lock and attributed to these giants of American literature. Lock’s remarkable achievement is that the reader cannot tell the difference. The real power of the story, however, comes from Samuel, who more than holds his own among these geniuses. His experiences of brutality offer profound insights that sharpen our understanding of American history.”

Booklist (starred review)

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