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A Partial Sun
A Partial Sun

A Partial Sun

The Tinsmith's Apprentice Series

Tinsmith's Apprentice


398 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $17.95 (CA $23.95) (US $17.95)

Publication Date: October 2019

ISBN 9781945448393

Rights: WOR

Boutique of Quality Books (Oct 2019)
BQB Publishing

Price: $17.95


Struggling between loyalty to Thomas Jefferson and the lure of risky freedom, a man enslaved at Monticello struggles in 1790s Philadelphia

In 1852, after much searching through the Black districts of Petersburg, Virginia, the amateur historian Charles Campbell finally located Isaac Granger, a formerly enslaved man who worked for the late Thomas Jefferson. Though disinterested at first in sharing his memories, Isaac was at last persuaded to tell the full story of his time in Philadelphia as a young man in the early 1790s. It was supposed to have been a simple story: he would apprentice with a Quaker tinsmith and then return to Monticello to produce tinware for sale in such abundance that Jefferson might pay down his plantation's crippling debts. But Isaac was impressionable and more thoughtful than Jefferson knew. Philadelphia was a big city, home to a thriving African-American community, and Isaac met all manner of characters: Billey Gardner, a formerly enslaved man who worked for James Madison; the dangerous and charismatic Dr. Cornelius Sharp; the Reverent Rich Allen; the hateful Daniel Shady, who could not abide that Isaac should learn tinsmithing at his side as an equal; the tinsmith's daughter, Rachel, who taught Isaac to read. Isaac got himself into difficulties, contemplated his place in the world, and was challenged to do more than just serve. Conflict was inevitable.

Author Biography

Sculptor and author Lawrence Bechtel began his journey toward the writing of A Partial Sun, his debut novel, with two bronze portrait sculptures: the first of Thomas Jefferson and the second of Isaac Granger, who had grown up enslaved at Monticello. During the course of this work, Lawrence read about Isaac's brief account of his time in Philadelphia as a tinsmith's apprentice and felt compelled, finally, to write a historical novel built from that account. A former English teacher at Virginia Tech, book reviewer for The Roanoke Times, and creator of three CDs' worth of short stories, Lawrence is presently working on the sequel novel for this series.