Sweet little six-year-old Liza believes she is in a good spot for a little girl — a pet for Miss Angie. She is fighting sleep as she rushes to Miss Angie’s personal assistance whether that be tightening corset laces or fetching make-up.
Liza is sleepy because of late night gatherings in the forest where the slaves sing and tell stories — forbidden activity. Liza is carried there by a grown slave, Jim and carried back home as she falls asleep when the hours grow late.
The good times are going on in the midst of the American Civil War and do not last. Liza is subjected to harsh reality of slave life and beaten severely when Angie’s father and Liza’s master finds the child with some of Angie’s make-up on her face. It made me sad to read of a little girl having the make-up ‘tested’ on her skin before Southern Belle, Angie put her face at risk, only for the little girl to be savagely beaten for having white make-up on her dark skin.
The horrid incident comes as General Butler, Union officer, comes to dinner. The fate of Liza and her friends lies in the hands of General Butler. You will love the schemes the slaves set off in order to get General Butler’s attention.
I cannot tell you more details about how Liza’s experiences with paint lead to her appreciation of the sun and how the colors paint freedom. Lauren Hjalmarson has painted a story that will print brightly on your heart.
I highly recommend To Paint A Sunrise, Volume 10 in Murray Pura’s American Civil War Series.