This is the story of Cora and her escape northward from a plantation in Georgia. Her means is the Underground Railroad, a literal underground network of tunnels and rails. Each time she surfaces, Cora finds herself in a different cultural landscape, all strange and dangerous in their own ways. It is a narrative built on true horror, spun into a fascinating but awful dystopic alternate history. Completely brutal, ingenious, and powerful.
The Undergound Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday $26.95), recommended by Tyler at the Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.