What is the summary for A Place Called Freedom?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am assuming that you refer here to Follet's work of historical fiction called A Place Called Freedom (as opposed to the young adult novel by Sanders that shares the same name). 

In the mid 1700s, Mack McAsh is a slave to the mines of Scotland, but not for long!  Mack McAsh makes it his goal to rebel against the following through the entire novel:

I pledge this child to work in the mines, boy and man, for as long as he is able, or until he die.

McAsh begins his rebellion in High Glen when he rebels in the mines.  Immediately mixing with the (just as impetuous) Lizzie Hallim, McAsh finds a female foil early on in the novel. Escaping the horrid treatment of Sir George there, McAsh escapes to England where he AGAIN has to rebel!  This time McAsh is against "the undertakers" who enforce (almost) slave labor among Scottish immigrants who unload the coal from docking ships.  For this rebellion, McAsh is arrested, deemed an "indentured servant," and made to work on a tobacco plantation in Virginia.  This time, McAsh (a Scottish indentured servant now enslaved in Virginia) helps lead the thirteen original colonies of the US to freedom from England!

In conclusion, it's important to realize that the true historical beauty of this piece of fiction is in the graphic description of the workers in their respective settings.  Daily life on a tobacco plantation is a focus later on in the novel.  Earlier on, it is the grueling life of the miners and the conditions in the Scottish mine that catches our attention.  And, of course, the severity of the "undertakers" in London is important as well.  All of these things prove this to be a truly "historical" novel.

shmindle | Student

"A Place Called Freedom" is a historical fiction novel written by Ken Follet. The book starts out in eighteenth century Scotland, where Malachi "Mack" McAsh is working as a coal miner. He and other slaves are the property of Sir George Jamisson. However, when Mack receives a letter that refutes their servitude, he goes on a quest for freedom. Jamisson's eldest son Robert is set to marry a lady named Lizzie Hallim, but Lizzie instead marries Robert's younger brother, Jay. Lizzie, who soon becomes unhappy with her marriage to Jay, also helps Mack escape into London, where he works as a coal heaver in a corrupt system. Trying to bring justice, Mack is almost hanged, but is instead transported to Virginia. Lizzie and Mack fall in love and run away together in search for freedom.  

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