Maggie Blaine, a widow with two teenage daughters, runs a rooming house smack dab on the town square. In 1860 this makes her a social outcast. Boarding houses are only semi-respectable and hers has a collection of eclectic boarders – an aging writer, an undertaker’s apprentice, a struggling young lawyer, and an old Irishman. In addition, she is friends with Emily and Nate, the Black couple with whom she shares her home, life, and chores. Given all that, it is fortunate that the town doesn’t know Maggie, Nate, Emily, and Eli Smith (the free-thinking editor of the weekly newspaper) are also station masters in the Underground Railroad.
When Maggie suddenly is asked to house the new Methodist minister, handsome, gifted Jeremiah Madison, she hopes he will revive the little church she attends as well as provide her boarding house with a bit of badly-needed respectability. But Jeremiah comes with secrets that challenge her determination to love everyone. As she, her family, and town reel from a series of shocking events, the compassionate Maggie searches for truth and forgiveness.
Based on a historical event.
"Saint Maggie is a delightful book that captures the pre-Civil War Northern ambivalence toward Abolition, and it also deals with more timeless themes, such as 'who is my neighbor?' Never sanctimonious, never preachy, always true to her beliefs, Stafford's Maggie is the kind of Christian one would like to see and to be."
Historical Novels Review Online