Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad dazzles as part of the Virginia Festival of the book. Combining her passion for photography with an insatiable desire to recreate and share life as a fugitive slave, author Jeanine Michna Bales creates a masterpiece. The decade of research supporting her book is evidenced through the pairing of thoughtful images and intuitive quotes. Bales sweeps readers away and offers a glance into the eyes and minds of slaves seeking freedom. Through her research, Jeanine Bales learned of heroes who bought time for fugitive slaves to escape by defying a sheriff’s orders and an enormous tree which acted as a safe house. With provocative stories of elaborate caves used as escape routes and treacherous swims across gigantic rivers, Bales adds a humanizing effect to a topic often lost in numbers and statistics. She takes readers into the thoughts of a cruel oppressed individual by making the two one in the same. Chilling, shocking, and ultimately rewarding; Through Darkness to Light illuminates a slave as a person by drawing on emotional and mental struggles as well as obvious physical challenges.