MASSACHUSETTS BOOKS AWARD
WINNER of HONORS in FICTION
“Powerful and moving, Leaving Coy’s Hill deftly examines the lifelong ambitions and friendships of abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone as she balances family and work, personal pain and public responsibilities, the strong pull of home and the prohibitive demands of the road. With an acute sense of place and an assured hand, Sherbrooke gives Lucy Stone the exposition and recognition she deeply deserves while bringing to light buried truths about the underbelly of the women’s rights movement in the United States. A beautiful meditation on advocacy and courage with a heroine who is impossible to forget.”
– Marjan Kamali, author of The Stationery Shop and Together Tea
Born on a farm in 1818, Lucy Stone dreamt of extraordinary things for a girl of her time, like continuing her education beyond the eighth grade and working for the abolitionist cause, and of ordinary things, such as raising a family of her own. But when she learns that the Constitution affords no rights to married women, she declares that she will never marry and dedicates her life to fighting for change.
At a time when it is considered promiscuous for women to speak in public, Lucy risks everything for the anti-slavery movement, her powerful oratory mesmerizing even her most ardent detractors as she rapidly becomes a household name. And when she begins to lecture on the “woman question,” she inspires a young Susan B. Anthony to join the movement. But life as a crusader is a lonely one.
When Henry Blackwell, a dashing and forward-thinking man, proposes a marriage of equals, Lucy must reconcile her desire for love and children with her public persona and the legal perils of marriage she has long railed against. And when a wrenching controversy pits Stone and Anthony against each other, Lucy makes a decision that will impact her legacy forever.
Based on true events, Leaving Coy’s Hill is a timeless story of women’s quest for personal and professional fulfillment within society’s stubborn constraints. And as an abolitionist and women’s rights activist fighting for the future of a deeply divided country, Lucy Stone’s quest to live a life on her own terms is as relevant as ever.