Monday, April 22, 2013
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
I love Tracy Chevalier's novels. I think I've read them all, and her latest, The Last Runaway, is one of her best. For one thing, The Last Runaway is set in America (mostly) during the mid-1800s. Chevalier is American but lives in England and usually sets her books there or in Europe.
The premise--Honor Bright, a young Quaker woman, travels with her sister from England to America because she was jilted by her fiance--is a good one. When her sister, who is engaged to marry a Quaker from their English town who has settled in Ohio, dies on the trip, Honor is left in alone in a strange country where she only knows her sister's fiance.
On top of this, the Underground Railroad that was big in Ohio at the time plays a large part. As do quilts.
From there, the story gently unfolds like real history with the help of the letters at the end of each chapter, usually written by Honor but occasionally but another character.
I found the Quaker history and customs interesting and pretty shocking in places. Read it. You'll see!
Book Read: The Last Runaway
Author: Tracy Chevalier