A Tea-Dark Bearing

Regal House Titles
$21.95 - $31.95
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Expected release date is 14th Jan 2025

The Adirondack Foothills, 1801. Hugh’s venture to blast open the wilderness is failing. Is it the uncommon wet season, his crew on the verge of mutiny, or a mysterious stranger intent upon sabotage? Desperate to escape their loveless marriage, his wife Georgie is trapped in the unnavigable woods and rivers. As she broods on her troubles, their willful and stout-hearted daughter befriends the stranger, an entity consumed with the landscape and the ghosts of waylaid soldiers of a nearby battlefield. He is willing to trade the secret to keeping black powder dry. But Hugh won’t listen and Georgie is preoccupied with the survival of her small family, and with that of Black Vy, the family cook and a former enslaved woman with whom she has forged a cautious bond. When Black Vy’s freedom is again threatened, the two women devise a daring plan of escape through a rugged, untamed wilderness, fleeing the dangerous prejudice of unscrupulous men as well as the stranger that haunts them all.

Praise for A Tea-Dark Bearing

“Janice Kidd’s A Tea-Dark Bearing opens in 1801 and is set in the then wilderness of the Adirondack Foothills. From the start it reads as if that wildness is being channeled through the rugged energy of the tactile, vivid prose itself. This is an historical novel in which one of the pleasures is the skill of how both place and the past have been authentically recreated. The conflicts of its complex characters are forerunners to those of today: race, class, gender, personal freedom, greed versus the preservation of the natural world. To Kidd’s enormous credit those themes don’t seem imported from the present. They arise from deep within the time and place she has so artfully recreated. A Tea-Dark Bearing is a rich, ambitious, and powerful debut.”

—Stuart Dybek, author of Ecstatic Cahoots

“In the early 1800s hinterlands of the Adirondack Foothills, men blast dangerous rock to build a tourist resort, yet it is the lives of the female characters in A Tea-Dark Bearing who are in even greater peril. Georgie, once a wealthy Englishwoman, is now subject to her husband’s physical and mental abuse as he literally brands her and requires her to tend to his mistress, while Black Vy, a former slave, is similarly entrapped. Only strong women can possibly survive in this rugged environment dominated by unscrupulous men rife with prejudice. A deeply researched and resonant historical novel, A Tea-Dark Bearing offers memorable heroines who we cheer for as they struggle together to escape to freedom.”

—Virgina Pye, author of The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann