Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier has once again given us a slice of life, this time instead of Europe, she is in America in the 19th century bring the struggle and bravery that was the Underground railroad to light.  "The Last Runaway" is a coming of age book. A book of self discovery, a one sitting read that draws you into the struggle of a young lady who is constantly running away, but unaware of it.

Honor Bright is an unmarried Quaker girl running away from a failed relationship in England. She joins her sister on her wedding journey to Ohio.  When her sister dies of yellow fever, she moves in with her grieving would be brother in law only to find herself running away from his uncomfortable household.  She marries and again runs away emotionally from her new family, finding purpose only in helping runaway slaves escaping to Canada.

Gripping and unputdownable, it's a gritty picture of American life and the stain of slavery. Honor is tested by her Quaker faith as well as her responsibility to humanity. As always, Chevalier's prose takes you away to another world. Her rich tapestry of characters are as unpredictable as well as mutli-layered. We are drawn to characters we should not be and repulsed by the "respectable" characters lack of fortitude.

A wonderful addition to my Tracy Chevalier library. I look forward to her every book.

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