February 9, 2021 Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers’ Favorite ★★★★★
The Eternal Conductor by Debbie Garneau Griffin is an epic family historical saga that crosses generations. DeeDee Williams and her sister have decided that it’s time for their mother, Robbie, to go into a nursing home after she broke her hip. However, when DeeDee arrives in Fair Haven, Vermont, to help her mother clean out their farmhouse, she begins to uncover more of her family’s history and that of the house than she ever anticipated. Jumping from modern times to the 1850s, Gabe and Emma Hopper own the farm at Fair Haven and are staunch abolitionists. But when the unthinkable happens as they are trying to rescue a family, the Prescotts, who are fleeing to freedom, the Hoppers put away all that remains of their efforts. Now, as DeeDee is faced with the choice to sell or rent the beloved home, she must decide how to preserve the memory of Gabe and Emma’s heroic efforts. However, her family’s and Gabe’s journeys are about to come unexpectedly full circle.
Rarely do I find a historical saga that keeps me reeled in as much as The Eternal Conductor by Debbie Garneau Griffin did. I admittedly lost many hours reading this novel, which was so exceptionally written down to the last detail. I did have one unanswered question, but I doubt the answer would have been forthcoming, even to the characters in the book, and that was what happened to Sarah? It certainly is a minor detail, but the gravity of her situation did make me think it wasn’t something good. Every character held sway for me, even the minor ones. I am so pleased to have been able to read such a beautiful saga. I fully recommend this novel to historical fiction fans as well as literary fiction fans. You will certainly not be disappointed.
February 10, 2021 Simone ★★★★★
The Eternal Conductor is a novel with everything in it. It will take you from the 1800’s to modern times. You will get to know the Hopper family who lived in Fair Haven, VT and who helped slaves to freedom.
The Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and the fire at the Cocoanut Grove Hotel in Boston are a few of the true historical events depicted in this book. You will experience encounters with an apparition that could frighten you. This ghost, called Gabe, is a protector and stops at nothing to keep Dee Dee and Robbie safe in the Vermont town with more history than anyone knew.
This book shares the stories of Robbie and DeeDee that unveil their many life challenges and demonstrates their many strengths. Their survival through many personal tragedies will make you cry and laugh and be awed by their ability to survive at whatever life threw at them.
I grew up in this town and experienced so many memories as I walked with DeeDee down Main St. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the Underground Railroad, history, ghosts, and life. It is a great story and well worth reading.
November 30, 2020 Betsy
I highly recommend this book! The Eternal Conductor gives a thrilling ride on the Underground Railroad from an unexpected angle, complete with ghosts, the ripple-out effect of unfulfilled lives, and a generations-long legacy. What happens when one’s moral law confronts the official law of the land? Three-dimensional characters and the author’s you-are-there way of writing bring it alive. 5 Stars!
January 1, 2021 Bunny
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction, Mystery, American Family, Spirituality
This is a thoughtfully crafted book, built on the facts of real places, true actions, then molded with emotions. The author makes connections in the lives of each character through believable dialog, beginning in our time, then stepping back to pre-Civil War era, then winding up again, in present day United States of America. These stories take on difficult topics and relevant subjects which are described in vibrant honest language. Spiritual connections throughout these individual stories spanning 200 years, have been nicely molded into a heartfelt work. It’s a good read, well-crafted and reminds us that life is not often easy, but is well worth the effort, which makes for a positive overall statement.
December 26, 2020 Deborah L.
4.0 out of 5 stars. Well written, kept me interested throughout.
It was a long book but it kept me engaged and interested throughout. A good read for a stormy weekend. The characters were well described and relatable.
January 6, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting historical fiction
Unlike many historical fictions this book is based on many actual facts about a family. The author writes her story after discovering compelling evidence of the underground railroad at her family home. Finding an underground living area below the barn and a diary give her a foundation for writing her story. The book not only discloses the narrative of that time but also takes you through the author’s journey of discovery. It was an interesting read.
January 10, 2021 Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical fiction!
My wife and Debbie grew up in the same small new New England town, and I have known Debbie for years as well, so was familiar with much of the background for this book. I have been an avid reader for decades and was thrilled when Debbie asked us to be Beta readers as she was putting her baby together! Couldn’t wait to see the final version, and once I got it I couldn’t put it down. Excellent read, and although I may be just slightly biased, I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in historical fiction, particularly relating to the underground railroad in the New England area!
January 25, 2021 Perry
5.0 out of 5 stars NYT Bestseller worthy!
Amazing book! The story is gripping, often heart-wrenching, suspenseful, sometimes funny and always hard to put down. The story takes you on a ride from the 1850’s with sporadic stops at different eras through to the early 2000’s. Would make a wonderful movie! Loved it!
Good Evening Everyone. I am reading a new book. Well, actually I am halfway through it, and I just have to tell you all…what an exciting page turner you will not want to end. And now for the best part: It is written by a Fair Haven native who went to High School with many of us. My Friend Debbie Garneau Griffin, who now lives in an old Mining Town in Calif.
This Book: “The Eternal Conductor” takes place here in Fair Haven. The time is 1850 and the names and the places you will recognize. There is so much history in the pages of Debra’s new book and I just know you will be telling your friends about it.
February 15, 2021 Doug
Day 2 and I’m 100 pages in! I haven’t read this much, this fast in decades! Easily one of the best books I’ve ever read, can see it being turned into an HBO special. Looking forward to the rest of the story and your next book. Keep up the great work!
Just finished your book!! God that was good! To this point I think all my siblings except one has bought a copy read it and I’m taking my copy to her next. Please write another one!!
February 10, 2021 Bob
For all of my friends who are from Fair Haven VT and for everyone else as well, I would highly recommend Debbie Garneau Griffin’s book The Eternal Conductor! It will break the spell of the Covid winter and take your thoughts to a different time!