Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

New York Times bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier makes her first fictional foray into the American past in The Last Runaway, bringing to life the Underground Railroad and illuminating the principles, passions and realities that fueled this extraordinary freedom movement.

In New York Times bestselling author Tracy Chevalier’s newest historical saga, she introduces Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker who moves to Ohio in 1850, only to find herself alienated and alone in a strange land. Sick from the moment she leaves England, and fleeing personal disappointment, she is forced by family tragedy to rely on strangers in a harsh, unfamiliar landscape.

Nineteenth-century America is practical, precarious, and unsentimental, and scarred by the continuing injustice of slavery. In her new home Honor discovers that principles count for little, even within a religious community meant to be committed to human equality.

However, drawn into the clandestine activities of the Underground Railroad, a network helping runaway slaves escape to freedom, Honor befriends two surprising women who embody the remarkable power of defiance. Eventually she must decide if she too can act on what she believes in, whatever the personal costs.

A powerful journey brimming with color and drama, The Last Runaway is Tracy Chevalier’s vivid engagement with an iconic part of American history.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by E.P. Dutton

I am new to Tracy Chevalier and this was an impulse purchase.  Just look at the cover, I love it and of course,  the summary drew me in also.  Being a quilter and  my interest in history, well this book was just calling my name.

The story was enjoyable, it was interesting to learn more about the Quakers and the Underground Railroad, the role that quilts and other little items played, as well as the treatment of women, their rights, or lack of.  Though the book didn't go into great details about the Underground Railroad, it was still an eye opener and did show enough to pull at some heart strings here.

I enjoyed how each chapter ended with a letter, whether from Homer to her family back in England or from them to her.  I can't imagine the wait of months and months to hear any news.

This was what I would call a 'quiet' book.  Meaning it didn't grab me and take me for a ride until I was finished.  It was easy to pick up and put down, I was in no rush to finish, just enjoyed the quiet ride. I gave this book 4 stars because I did enjoy the ride and will be back to read more by Tracy Chevalier.

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