We all search for ways to escape pain. Laura, a slave living in the nineteenth century, knows this better than anyone. Her owner promises any of his female servants freedom if she gives birth to fifteen healthy slaves. The suffering that Laura endures makes this proposal all the more enticing, but she must not allow her desire for freedom to betray her own children and forsake them in bondage. Nor can she allow her own soul to become clay—molded, spinning, and pressed on the wheel of human suffering.