The Last Runaway

The Last Runaway

Book - 2013
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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.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, 2013.
ISBN: 9780525952992
Characteristics: 305 p. ; 24 cm.


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May 09, 2019

Good book. Read more from this author.

Feb 04, 2016

Key words: mid 19th century America, young quaker girl, cultural shock, survival, slavery to freedom, quilt making, intricate social dynamics.

This book is a great read. However, Girl with a pearl earring, in my opinion, is the author's best novel so far.

I will also recommend Giles Milton's The Riddle and the Knight: In Search of Sir John Mandeville. I had problem putting the book down it was so intriguing.

Nov 14, 2015

For me, this was a near-perfect book - and I read a whole lot. The story is a sober one, but told gently. The heroine is strong, but in a quiet way, and flawed in spite of herself. It's a moral story that reads quickly and the prose is smooth and natural. I highly recommend it for fans of frontier life. Also a good read for people of faith.

Sep 16, 2015

Found it kept the reader's interest to the end -- I don't know why but it did. Looking forward to trying some more by this author.

Mar 28, 2015

Average read. Interesting concepts

Oct 30, 2014

Tracy Chevalier uses a personal connection to Oberlin College in Ohio as the basis for a young English immigrant Honor Bright's story. A talented quilter left to make her own way among fellow Quakers and others in 1850s Ohio after her sister dies, Honor finds there are many sides to the slavery question and aiding those trying to escape on the Underground Railroad.
I always read Tracy Chevalier's books. She's a good storyteller and her blending of story with history and art always appeals to me. Having once been avid about quilts and quilting helped my enjoyment of this one.

samdog123 Jul 14, 2014

I always enjoy Tracy Chevalier's historical novels. In this title, a Quaker woman, Honor Bright, comes to Colonial American where she becomes involved with the Underground Railroad.

Jul 05, 2014

An interesting side to the runaway slave issue from the quaker point of view. A woman who came to America with her sister is left to find a place of her own when her sister dies. She lives with her former brother-in law and then marries a neighbor.

Jun 06, 2014

Honor begins her trip to America with her sister thinking she can return to England if things don't go well, but her terrible seasickness makes her realize she must find a way to live in her new home. This is harder when disaster strikes her beloved sister, and she finds her brother-in-law isn't expecting her. Her only friend in this strange land is a milliner who kindly takes her in, makes use of her sewing skills, and protects her. Honor begins by expecting America to conform to her English ideas, but learns no one is interested in them. The OH frontier of 1850 is much too raw and dangerous for that, especially as she finds herself involved in the slavery issue. This separates even Quaker families, as she learns to her dismay. Honor can speak her true mind only in letters to her best friend in England, which will take months to reach her. Ultimately, she begins to grow into a sense of herself, with her own values for a new land. A quiet book, with more action in retrospect than the spare prose makes you think in the reading. As with other of Chevalier's books, I'd like another telling what happens next.

May 14, 2014

great historical fiction, telling a compelling story of people following their faith while trying to live by the 'rules' of the land.

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