Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Last Runaway

Author: Tracy Chevalier

Published: January 2013

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

What They Say: The stunning new novel from the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring.

When modest Quaker Honor Bright sails from Bristol with her sister, she is fleeing heartache for a new life in America, far from home. But tragedy leaves her alone and vulnerable, torn between two worlds and dependent on the kindness of strangers.

Life in 1850s Ohio is precarious and unsentimental. The sun is too hot, the thunderstorms too violent, the snow too deep. The roads are spattered with mud and spit. The woods are home to skunks and porcupines and raccoons. They also shelter slaves escaping north to freedom.

Should Honor hide runaways from the ruthless men who hunt them down? The Quaker community she has joined may oppose slavery in principle, but does it have the courage to help her defy the law? As she struggles to find her place and her voice, Honor must decide what she is willing to risk for her beliefs.

Set in the tangled forests and sunlit cornfields of Ohio, Tracy Chevalier’s vivid novel is the story of bad men and spirited women, surprising marriages and unlikely friendships, and the remarkable power of defiance

What Sheli Says: This is my third Tracy Chevalier book of the year and it's another cracker! Chevalier's latest release is another historical fiction offering featuring quilts, quakers and a British girl called Honor who emigrates with her sister to America to start a new life.

The writing is once again wonderful in this book and the imagery very vivid. We meet lots of different characters in this book, and Honor faces tragedy and meets some new friends on her journey. The central story to this book is about slavery and the things that people did to help black people pass through Ohio and onto a better life whilst most people just looked the other way. To me, the relationships that were formed in the story were just as important, both good and bad, and also the realisation from Honor that life isn't all black and white.

Another great book and I look forward to discovering more of Chevalier's work. 

Sheli's Rating: 8/10

“Perhaps thee will best understand what Abigail is like if I tell thee that when she quilts she prefers to stitch in the ditch, hiding her poor stitches in the seams between the blocks.”

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