Steal Away Home: One Woman's Epic Flight to Freedom - And Her Long Road Back to the South

Steal Away Home: One Woman's Epic Flight to Freedom - And Her Long Road Back to the South

by Karolyn Smardz Frost
  • biography
  • narrative
In this compelling work of narrative non-fiction, Governor General’s Award winner Karolyn Smardz Frost captures Cecelia’s epic story of courage. She was a teenager when she made her dangerous bid for freedom. Escape meant that she would never see her mother or brother again. She would be cut off from Fanny, the young mistress with whom she grew up, but who also owned her. Cecelia found a new life in Toronto’s vibrant African-American expatriate community. There she fell in love with her rescuer, and initiated a correspondence with her former owner that would endure for more than two decades. When she eventually returned to the Kentucky she had known as a child, she found her home much changed in the wake of war. Reunited with her mother, Cecelia also renewed her complicated relationship with her former mistress. After years apart, the two lived within a few blocks of each other until Fanny’s death. Smardz Frost’s impeccable research and vivid description takes the reader through the Civil War, the shameful backdrop of slavery and the very real and stirring tale of one woman’s struggle for freedom — and her return to her former home on her own terms, despite the risk involved.


Karolyn Smardz Frost, author

Archaeologist and historian, Senior Research Fellow for York University’s Harriet Tubman Institute and former Bicentennial Visiting Professor for Canadian Studies at Yale. Co-editor of A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland, which won the Historical Society of Michigan Book Award. Author of I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction.


  • Braveness is unparalleled in these tales of unfathomable hardship yet, Frost’s calmness puts the reader at ease in the passenger seat. . . . "Steal Away Home" completely embodies the definition of one’s life being bittersweet. - Ryan Gallant, The Calgary Herald Link to review


  • Winner, 2017 Toronto Speaker's Award

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Westwood Creative Artists



rights sold: English (Canada)

rights available: World, excl. Canada English

Additional Information

number of pages: 432

publication date: 01/24/2017

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book