Kemosha is black but she has been a slave her whole life. She wants to buy her freedom. Slaves don't get paid, so she'll have to escape.
Akashic Books sent me a copy of this book to read and review (thank you). It has been published and you can buy a copy now.
This is a young adult book and it's historical fiction. You learn how the masters treated their slaves and that's pretty bad. You must do what he commands or you get whipped. If you are good looking, men will pay to have an evening with you. You can see why she wants to escape the plantation.
She gets away and meets a free Negro. He teaches her how to use a sword. She doesn't want to kill anyone but she doesn't have that choice. Once she uses the sword in self defense, she has to run again.
She eventually takes to the sea, but that isn't the escape she thought it was.
People die, they are mourned but they can't stop trying to get away. They'll be killed if they are caught...