The Independent
New York: 5 November 1854

  ANNOUNCEMENT.--We have looked over the sheets of a volume soon to be issued from the press of Phillips, Sampson & Co., of Boston, which is destined to make a sensation in the circles of literature and philanthropy second only to that of its peerless predecessor, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Like that remarkable book, it introduces us familiarly to the scenes of the plantation, and exhibits every possible phase of the peculiar institution; but the interest of the story concentrates upon the fate of a a beautiful white child kidnapped at the age of five years. "IDA MAY" is its title; or a "Story of Things Actual and Possible." Some of the possibles of the story verge closely upon the improbable, but the interest in the principal character is well sustained throughout. Indeed, in some parts of the story this rises to an excitement almost painful, quite surpassing our interest in the sable hero. The subordinate characters are by no means as boldly marked as those in "Uncle Tom;" but the variety of persons introduced, each having some marked individuality, gives to the work as a whole a high dramatic power. The negro-talk is rendered in capital style, and the incidents of slave-life show an intimate knowledge of the workings of the system of slavery. There is an occasional stiffness and formality in the conversations between the higher classes, but the execution of the story is remarkably successful; it gives proof of high genius, and its popularity is sure. May its usefulness be co-extensive with its sale!