Canadian Author Recounts Issue of White Slavery in 1800's Deep South

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A stunning novel set near Savannah, Georgia, "A New Dawn Rising" tells the remarkable story of a white man born into slavery, and the incredible odds he faces trying to raise enough money to be freed from the stigma of his upbringing.

Northern Alberta resident and author/playwright, Patricia Marie Budd, attributes the cold Canadian winter days for the yearning to pen her first novel in the heat of the Deep South. Combining her lifelong interest in the issues of slavery with the steamy and tense atmosphere of early 1800's Georgia, Budd releases her debut novel, "A New Dawn Rising" (ISBN 978-0595370481, iUniverse, Inc., 2006).

Set in the fictional town of Laurel Creek, just north of the burgeoning Savannah, Budd's story portrays the sleepy yet volatile nature of a rural plantation community where the slave trade flourished. John Connolley is a white man born into slavery through the lawful status of his mother. Raised like a son by his owner, Jacob Barlow, he learns the harsh reality that he is property when "uncle Jacob" thought he had tried to run. Barlow punishes John accordingly, and forever loses the father-son relationship they once shared.

Fifteen years later and nearing thirty, John faces the impossible task of raising enough money to live freely. He falls in love with the daughter of a plantation owner and tries desperately to keep his past hidden. Struggling with the humiliation of being rented out by Barlow to rich ladies for their amusement, and the constant fear of losing the woman he loves, John hopes to be freed of the stigma of slavery and indeed hold the truths of the Declaration of Independence to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.

Budd spent nearly three years researching her novel, and convincingly portrays the realism of the era. She references significant themes of the time, including the irony of Thomas Jefferson and the influence of noted freedom advocate Thomas Paine, whose pamphlet Common Sense spurred a revolution. "A New Dawn Rising" doesn't evade the issues of brutality and racism, yet attempts a balance it with romantic and humorous moments, as well as a deep and pervading message of the universal need for forgiveness.

Though white slavery was predominantly found in the 1600's with the British selling Irish slaves at a higher rate than Africans, the incidence of white slavery was not uncommon throughout the generations. Budd's highly enjoyable read spotlights a largely disregarded aspect of American history. With freedom and independence, as well as prejudice and inequality still hot topics in today's current society, Budd offers her gentle reminder of how far man still has to go, to live up to the ideals this country was founded on.

Patricia Marie Budd was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. She taught English in Japan for two years, and studied mime at Mime Unlimited in Toronto, Canada, and with Phillip Gaulier in London, England. Budd has written numerous plays over the years with her 2003 entry winning honorable mention at the Alberta Playwright's Network competition. Budd currently teaches high school English in Fort McMurray, Alberta. "A New Dawn Rising" (ISBN 978-0595370481, iUniverse, Inc., 2006) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. Review copies available upon request. For more information, visit http://www.patriciamariebudd.ca.

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