The American Revolution has begun, and is threatening to spill out of Boston in April 1775 when Guy Watson, slave to Rhode Island’s Hazzard family, is hired out by his master as a carpenter. Hiring out Guy’s services has often happened before, but this time is different. Guy is not on his way to a Newport family, but to Charlestown, Massachusetts. There, he helps create fortifications across the river from Boston at Breed’s and Bunker Hill.
Something else strikes Guy as ominous. Master Hazzard is a British sympathizer, and tells Guy to keep his ears open, especially about American troops, and tell what he learns to a messenger that he will send. Hazzard makes clear that Guy’s future depends on his reports, along with the future of the woman Guy loves.
Thus begins Crossing Point, James Glickman’s elegant historical novel centered on lesser-known events of the early Revolution, back when the name Benedict Arnold meant “hero,” not “traitor.” Guy becomes a shocked eyewitness to the brutal slaughter of British soldiers at Breed’s Hill, and participates in the grueling overland trek from Maine’s coast to Quebec City. Once more he sees disaster during the futile siege of that armored citadel by exhausted, starving American troops.
Glickman does a terrific job of fleshing out historical events with thoroughly believable characters from all strata of society from slave to General Washington. He follows the historical record closely, and paints events in glowing detail that seizes the imagination of even the most jaded reader. I couldn’t recommend Crossing Point more highly.