“The Tubman Command” by Elizabeth Cobbs

Genre:         Historical FictionTubman
Publisher:    Skyhorse Publishing
Pub. Date:   May 21, 2019

Mini Review

The author of “The Hamilton Affair” has written another interesting historical novel, “The Tubman Command.”  In this flawlessly researched novel, one learns of the lesser known heroic deeds of the black icon Harriet Tubman AKA Moses.  Most people have heard of Tubman for engineering the Underground Railroad and smuggling fugitive slaves from the South to the North.  This novel veers away from that part of her life and instead concentrates on her lesser known missions as a spy for the Union army.  Her efforts helped turn the tide during the Civil War, which, as of May 1863, the North was losing.  Cobbs keeps the writing authentic in many ways, such as using the long-forgotten dialect of the Africans living in Hilton Head Island located in South Carolina.  This is where Tubman and her scouts locate Rebel underwater mines.   Adding to the appreciated realism, each chapter begins with an actual and often moving quote from a general, colonel, scout or slave regarding Moses’ extraordinary talents.  The author shines brightest when she brings focus to the human side of the famous woman.  The story fluctuates between Harriet’s determined dedication to freeing people from slavery and her sense of burden and loss in her personal life.  She left her first husband to pursue her own freedom and outlived her second husband.  The author allows her heroine a love affair, which she admits in the endnotes to be pure fiction. This sexual relationship may not have been needed other than as a means to reach an audience who simply want romance in their stories.  Still, Cobbs emphasizes that, although her real-life protagonist was a lonely woman, she knew she was equal, or more probably, superior to any man, black or white.

I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

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