All We Were Promised: A Novel (Hardcover)

All We Were Promised: A Novel By Ashton Lattimore Cover Image

All We Were Promised: A Novel (Hardcover)


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A housemaid with a dangerous family secret conspires with a wealthy young abolitionist to help an enslaved girl escape, in volatile pre-Civil War Philadelphia.

The rebel . . . the socialite . . . and the fugitive. Together, they will risk everything for one another in this “beguiling story of friendship, deception, and women crossing boundaries in the name of freedom” (Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Friends).

Philadelphia, 1837. After Charlotte escaped from the crumbling White Oaks plantation down South, she’d expected freedom to feel different from her former life as an enslaved housemaid. After all, Philadelphia is supposed to be the birthplace of American liberty. Instead, she’s locked away playing servant to her white-passing father, as they both attempt to hide their identities from slavecatchers who would destroy their new lives.

Longing to break away, Charlotte befriends Nell, a budding abolitionist from one of Philadelphia’s wealthiest Black families. Just as Charlotte starts to envision a future, a familiar face from her past reappears: Evie, her friend from White Oaks, has been brought to the city by the plantation mistress, and she’s desperate to escape. But as Charlotte and Nell conspire to rescue her, in a city engulfed by race riots and attacks on abolitionists, they soon discover that fighting for Evie’s freedom may cost them their own.
Ashton Lattimore is an award-winning journalist and a former lawyer. She is the editor-in-chief at Prism, a nonprofit news outlet by and for communities of color, and her nonfiction writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Slate, CNN, and Essence. Lattimore is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and Columbia Journalism School. She grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband and their two sons. All We Were Promised is her first novel.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593600153
ISBN-10: 0593600150
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 368
Language: English
“Against the backdrop of untold history, Ashton Lattimore spins a beguiling story of friendship, deception, and women crossing boundaries in the name of freedom. Disparate and deeply real, Charlotte, Nell, and Evie struggle to fully trust one another, but ultimately discover that together they may be stronger than everything their turbulent world casts against them.”—Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Friends

“A compelling tale of three Black women caught between the promises and threats of a supposedly free, pre–Civil War Philadelphia.”—Charmaine Wilkerson, author of Black Cake

“Masterfully brings the era to life and kept me turning pages. A triumphant debut!”—Martha Hall Kelly, author of Lilac Girls

“As beautifully written as it is historically sound, and ripe with the overwhelming struggle to right America’s greatest wrong: slavery.”—Sadeqa Johnson, author of The House of Eve

“A stunning debut . . . This riveting story will enthrall you with its promises kept and broken, love lost and found, and paths carved forward with despair and hope.”—Adriana Trigiani, author of The Good Left Undone

“With insight and empathy, this absorbing novel transports us to the turbulent streets of 1830s Philadelphia, where three Black women navigate the dangers of the city as well as their own fraught relationships.”—Catherine Kerrison, author of Jefferson’s Daughters

“Well-researched and beautifully rendered, Ashton Lattimore’s debut delves deep into a pre–Civil War Philadelphia at the crossroads of slavery and independence, an urgent history that builds on every compelling page.”—Afia Atakora, author of Conjure Women

“I highly recommend this important, beautiful book. It has everything I value most in historical fiction: compelling characters, a suspenseful plot, and vivid details, which here bring to life a part of America’s past that continues to resonate painfully today.”—Tara Conklin, author of The House Girl

“This truly impressive debut is a moving story of the heart’s cry for independence, regard, and honor, deftly told.”—Susan Meissner, author of Only the Beautiful

“So compelling, it’s impossible to put down . . . Nineteenth-century America never felt more gripping or alive.”—Michelle Moran, author of Cleopatra’s Daughter

“Lattimore’s deep research and compelling story will enthrall readers of historical fiction. Her legal acumen illuminates the complex compromises in laws that supposedly ended slavery.”—Martha Minow, author and former dean of Harvard Law School