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Hester is the story of an actual slave and is anchored in fact. It is also an unusual and even remarkable example of race relations that, though begun in the awful days of slavery, worked on some level and continue to do so. After terrible experiences, Hester found sanctuary and a measure of peace with her last owners, the Parrotts, and she and their daughter, “Missy Mary,” stayed in touch after the Civil War until Mary died.
The book is also very much the story of two amazing Duplin
County, North Carolina, women—“Maude” (the author) and “Hester” (the subject of Maude’s book), one White and one Black. Their lives were and are curiously and wonderfully intertwined.