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10 thoughts on “The Last Runaway

  1. Amalia Gavea Amalia Gavea says:

    I am excluded even from the excluded, she thought Tracy Chevalier is one of those writers who have contributed in the development of Historical Fiction as we know it today Her writing contains beautiful metaphors and a successful combination of a fresh, modern feeling and a kind of dialogue that is faithful to the depicted era Girl With A Pearl Earring managed to bring the Netherlands to focus and started a whole array of books set during the 17th century, inspired by the magnificent painI am excluded even from the excluded, she thought Tracy Chevalier is one of those writers who have contributed in the development of Historical Fiction as we know it today Her writing contains beautiful metaphors and a successful combination of a fresh, modern feeling and a kind of dialogue that is faithful to the depicted era Girl With A Pearl Earring managed to bring the Netherlands to focus and started a whole array of books set during the 17th century, inspired by the magnificent painters of this beautiful country The Last Runaway is equally successful I dare say that, at times, it is even better Ohio, 1850s The tension between the cities of the North and the cities of the South regarding the abolition of slavery is brewing The communities are divided over the issue and over their own religious beliefs, The Quakers are considered weird but they are supposed to be honest and supporters of equality Does this equality extent to salves It dependsIn the midst of it all, we find Honor A young Englishwoman whose life changes drastically the moment she set foot in the New World Her relationships with an array of interesting characters and her convictions compose a beautiful, sad, poignant storyWell, there you go We re all from somewhere else That s how Ohio is The community Chevalier depicts is a mix of opposites Ohio is a stop on the way North or on the way South The residents are torn between sympathy and fear The story is built on the notion of antithesis Antithesis between our faith and our actions Between love and duty Between obligations and wishes Honor has been brought up to be honest no matter what but there are things she can t even admit to herself Donovan is torn between his twisted notion of duty and the demands of his heart To what extent can we disregard our social and familial duties in order to do what we think is right and just Do we give in and betray our principles These are the questions Honor has to face while trying to forge a life in a place that is an amalgam of clashing convictions and troubled souls.The writing is exceptional I could go on about all the vivid details, the beautiful imagery, the dialogue There is an underlying tenderness and softness in the prose even if the subject itself is difficult and harsh he daily life and customs are masterfully described and the themes that Chevalier uses to compose her story are always relevant to any era The tone isn t didactic or preachy but simple, direct and calm like Honor herself The characters are major contributors to a successful novel and in this one we have quite a few memorable ones Honor is a delight in the sense that she s realistic, determined and persistent I didn t think of her as naive On the contrary, I admired her bravery because she had to face the prejudices of a whole community and the horrible manners of her mother in law Now, I will become controversial here and admit that I would choose a different path and obey my true wishes regarding marriage and family but I understand her motives given the era and the circumstances This brings us to Donovan, one of the most interesting characters I ve recently come across He is complex, almost tragic in his choices, his inner battle Belle is also exceptional as are Virginie and Mrs Reed The Haymakers I definitely could have done without those idiots There is an interesting theme permeating the novel The notion of looking and thinking forward instead of dwelling in misfortune The American Way Honor questions this She considers it a mistake because not remembering leads to the same mistakes over and over again Judging by the way our world works, I cannot help thinking that she is right Slavery, war, atrocities committed against the people whose land was stolen by the settlers Within such a context, future can only become better through togetherness The end is satisfying but it is clear that Honor isn t convinced And she s right, in my opinion Noone can speak of equality and continue dividing people into categories And once , I cannot help thinking that every successful Historical Fiction novel acts as the clearest mirror reflecting our problematic societies My reviews can also be found on


  2. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    Oh, goodreads Why does thee not allow for a half star rating If thy did, I would give this book a solid 2.5 star rating For the cover art, I would give thy a 5 star rating But I digress Tracy Chevalier s latest book examines the Quakers role in the Underground Railroad during the mid 1800s We see this time period through the eyes of one Honor Bright, a recent emigrate from England Honor is a twenty year old who like most twenty somethings finds it is one thing to profess moral ideals a Oh, goodreads Why does thee not allow for a half star rating If thy did, I would give this book a solid 2.5 star rating For the cover art, I would give thy a 5 star rating But I digress Tracy Chevalier s latest book examines the Quakers role in the Underground Railroad during the mid 1800s We see this time period through the eyes of one Honor Bright, a recent emigrate from England Honor is a twenty year old who like most twenty somethings finds it is one thing to profess moral ideals and quite another to live by them Issues that vex Honor Quakers are not allowed to lie or keep secrets BUT the success of the Underground Railroad relies on such prevarication How does thy quilt when the very material used to quilt comes off the backs of slaves Her mother in law, Judith, an elder in the Quaker community Sour faced and judgy Donovan, the slave catcher Her loins and all.Earnest details about quilting, millinery, and social customs add interest to the narrative as does Mrs Reed, a Conductor of the Underground Railroad Most of the other characters are a bit wooden and fall flat This could have been a better book but for lack of development and oversimplification I still enjoyed it


  3. Margitte Margitte says:

    A Quaker girl from England landed up in Faithwell, Ohio, 1850, right in the middle of the Underground Railroad s path Heartsick and homesick, Honor Haymaker struggled to wrap her mind around the slavery laws of America and the way it was applied in the northern states Milking cows, sewing quilts, making hay, bottling the bounty of summer for the harsh uncompromising winters, tapping maple trees for syrup, making cheese, obeying her mother in law, and being a good wife, drained her from everyth A Quaker girl from England landed up in Faithwell, Ohio, 1850, right in the middle of the Underground Railroad s path Heartsick and homesick, Honor Haymaker struggled to wrap her mind around the slavery laws of America and the way it was applied in the northern states Milking cows, sewing quilts, making hay, bottling the bounty of summer for the harsh uncompromising winters, tapping maple trees for syrup, making cheese, obeying her mother in law, and being a good wife, drained her from everything she ever believed in or aspired to Her only true friends were Belle Mill, the milliner, and Mrs Elsie Reed, a former slave, in Wellington, but their friendship were strictly forbidden by her husband s family Belle was also the sister of Donovan Mill, the slave hunter, who made it his business to uphold the laws The relentless clattering of his horse s hooves one of the hooves had a distinctive thud as a result of a thick shoe were heard anytime, anywhere, even in the small radical town of Oberlin Donovan did not hesitate to paw through his sister s possessions as well to get behind possible stationmasters s actions of the Underground Railroad Just as he did with Honor s trunk a few months earlier, when Honor was on Thomas s wagon on her way from Hudson to Wellington after arriving in America.Belle gifted her a gray bonnet with a yellow trimming It became the first act of rebellion against a community which was slowly choking the last breath from Honor Haymaker s body From there, the road to freedom of choice became tougher than the survival of the snares in the woods that caught run away slaves on their journey to the Canadian border MY COMMENTSTo start of with this story is about people on the move Of people running away from lives they could not face Honor Bright, became Honor Haymaker, with the plot of the story clearly established in the protagonist s names From then on it became a heartfelt, and gripping adventure through the history of slavery and the settlement of the immigrants, with the hardships surrounding the lives of all the people on the run Their journeys took them either from east to west, or south to north over the vast territories of America And there, where their roads crossed, this story took shape.A beautiful, compassionate read I really enjoyed this book An excellent read


  4. Teresa Teresa says:

    This novel was enjoyable enough However, reading it gives one a sensation of floating atop the story nothing pulls a person in or attaches itself to the reader s emotions The story is just too light The first hundred pages are largely given over to quilting patterns and sewing techniques, which is fine enough if one has a taste for such thorough narrations of domestique intricacies but a reader choosing this book based on the cover description would be disappointed It leaves one to believ This novel was enjoyable enough However, reading it gives one a sensation of floating atop the story nothing pulls a person in or attaches itself to the reader s emotions The story is just too light The first hundred pages are largely given over to quilting patterns and sewing techniques, which is fine enough if one has a taste for such thorough narrations of domestique intricacies but a reader choosing this book based on the cover description would be disappointed It leaves one to believe that it is centred around the Underground Railroad, leaves one to expect a drama of true trials and interpersonal struggles as no tale concerning such a matter could be or was otherwise, especially to the people immediately concerned However, excluding the last scene, the collection of scarce small events involving black runaways throughout this novel most definately purposes as a side story, and, futher, each event in and of itself also carries a feeling of being small The majority of text is dedicated to quilting, as already mentioned, and the dynamics of Quaker communities the back description should reflect this Although the main character, Honor Bright, does go through a personal struggle, excited by her and her new family s differing views including that of dealing with runaways, but certainly not the most prominent dissimilitude , the reader once again feels left floating atop, never really seeing into the character The reader never really knows Honor Bright and some times she surprisingly demostratesunderstanding then one would expect from her hollow, bland character where did this come from The afforementioned aside, this book is a nice light read that can remove one from the present without demanding emotional or intellectual strain of any kind.The scenic descriptions of this novel are on par Chevalier can effectively paint a descriptive picture in few words she knows just what can be left out, what the reader can fill in himself and does not drag the book down by counting off the leaves on trees Prehaps my rating would be higher if the cover description properly described the novel it is a very airy book about a Quaker s life in America at the time of slavery though slavery is far from its focal point and do not forget to mention the quilting, quilting, quilting I was disappointed because I was mislead I was expecting Underground Railroad and instead got quilting Quaker


  5. The Book Maven The Book Maven says:

    Simply put, this is one of the BEST historical novels I have ever read.The plot After being jilted by her fiance in England, Quaker woman Honor Bright decides to accompany her sister Grace to America and help Grace adjust to her upcoming marriage and impending life as a pioneer woman But when tragedy befalls them, Honor finds herself alone in a strange country, dependent on the kindness of strangers and trying to learn the customs of 1850s Ohio still a rough and wild place Further, she h Simply put, this is one of the BEST historical novels I have ever read.The plot After being jilted by her fiance in England, Quaker woman Honor Bright decides to accompany her sister Grace to America and help Grace adjust to her upcoming marriage and impending life as a pioneer woman But when tragedy befalls them, Honor finds herself alone in a strange country, dependent on the kindness of strangers and trying to learn the customs of 1850s Ohio still a rough and wild place Further, she has much to learn about the raw, bitter, divisive nature of the issue of slavery, and how very little is as black and white as we wish it could be.Chevalier is, at this point, a veteran writer of historical fiction I ve enjoyed her novels in the past, but The Last Runaway sets a new, even higher standard for her work While Chevalier is skilled at forming compelling, conflicted primary and secondary characters, where she truly excels in this novel is her setting and framework I moved away from the Midwest several years ago, but she evokes the landscape, the climate, the burgeoning history and legacy so exquisitely, I had to put the book down at one point and have a good, homesick cry.I fear it will be a long time before I encounter the likes of this book again


  6. Britany Britany says:

    Honor Bright follows her sister Grace over to America in 1850 She crosses the sea in the Adventurer and makes her slow way to Faithwell, Ohio She meets despair and tragedy along the way and quickly finds herself in an uncomfortable situation almost as quickly as she arrives Honor is a Quaker and lives within her community of Friends She finds that Faithwell is a stop for runaway slaves from the South on their North Star path to Oberlin and onto Canada I enjoyed each chapter ended with a let Honor Bright follows her sister Grace over to America in 1850 She crosses the sea in the Adventurer and makes her slow way to Faithwell, Ohio She meets despair and tragedy along the way and quickly finds herself in an uncomfortable situation almost as quickly as she arrives Honor is a Quaker and lives within her community of Friends She finds that Faithwell is a stop for runaway slaves from the South on their North Star path to Oberlin and onto Canada I enjoyed each chapter ended with a letter either from or to Honor, I found myself looking forward to these pieces of correspondence between her old life and new one I also enjoyed reading about quilting, and learning the differences in the patterns, technique and colors The things that fell a little flat for me was the runaway storyline this felt a little too light given the situation I m not sure helping runaways in Ohio would ve been quite as easy as it was for Honor These plot points didn t feel gritty enough and I found myself questioning the authenticity of the narrative Belle Mills was by far my favorite character the local milliner whose brother is the slave catcher in the area Belle is a no nonsense hat maker with a personality this book sorely needed Overall, I enjoyed this book but it was a lighter historical version of this time period than I would ve liked


  7. Chaitra Chaitra says:

    I did not like this as much as I thought I would I like Chevalier, I like Historical Fiction, and I adore books of this period That s why the book gets a three star rating from me, but it leans towards the lower end of the 3 The book s weakness to me is the wishy washy main character Honor Bright She drifts along with events, believes in Silence so much that she doesn t seem to have any thoughts, and above all she didn t make me believe that she was sincere Honor Bright is an English Quaker I did not like this as much as I thought I would I like Chevalier, I like Historical Fiction, and I adore books of this period That s why the book gets a three star rating from me, but it leans towards the lower end of the 3 The book s weakness to me is the wishy washy main character Honor Bright She drifts along with events, believes in Silence so much that she doesn t seem to have any thoughts, and above all she didn t make me believe that she was sincere Honor Bright is an English Quaker, who comes to America to get away from a jilting, ostensibly to help her sister settle into her new home Her sister succumbs to a yellow fever sickness before she can reach Ohio Honor, unable to go back to England, but nitpicking away with America because among other things, it is not neat and ordered and there are trees everywhere, decides to continue on to Ohio where she meets a number of interesting characters, all of them somehow connected with fugitive slaves She continues drifting without purpose until she decides that the corn is ready please don t tell me this used to happen and if it did, is this where the word corny originate from , and gets married to the second man that happens along The first is there to provide some conflict Then, she becomes involved in a totally floaty fashion in the Underground Railroad Honor is a wispy creature to build a story on Her main trait is that she s silent, and that she s an expert quiltmaker This gets us through the first hundred pages She whines incessantly about where she is everything is so transient, everyone wants to move away, they have wood houses and not solid stone like in England all the while forgetting thatandpeople were leaving England to make a life in the new world, including herself She doesn t make any effort to be involved in the Community she believes in so much, so it becomes really hard for us to empathize with her when she says she s friendless She becomes involved in the Underground Railroad, true, but as I read it, it s used as a backdrop to this wallflower s story, and that s just not interesting She uses her people s aversion to help fugitive slaves to make a martyr of herself They have a very compelling reason for the aversion, in spite of which they give her a great deal of latitude Sure, they could use some spine, and their actions are deplorable and all too common But, what bothered me with the book is that the girl who will go silent for months on her family in some weird sort of judgment for refusing to help a runaway can see the Light in a merciless slave catcher denounced even by his own sister What kind of person would do that Other than a horny one having the hots for the slave catcher, I mean She doesn t actually have the guts to admit that either.But I do give Chevalier points for a bunch of other things As always the descriptions of the period, and of the place are great to read She evokes the transience of the place well There are some memorable characters Belle Mills, Donovan, Judith Haymaker, Mrs Reed In fact, any one not named Honor Bright happen to have a personality I would have loved to read a book from Belle s perspective or Mrs Reed s Infinitelyinteresting characters The scenes with the fugitives are affecting and I kept wishing that the book hadof that I even liked the almost endless commentary on Quaker quilting, it was well researched and definitely preferable to the main character s whining I was looking forward to the book very much, and while it was well written in the historical point of view, it was a very unsatisfying read I wish books didn t take something important and trivialize it to a marginality, but insist that it is very important We can see it s not 3 stars for nostalgia I received a copy via NetGalley for review.


  8. Lydia Presley Lydia Presley says:

    I am trying to figure out today what made this book so unputdownable last night I was up reading it until I finished at 3am and the only thing I can come up with is the character of Honor Bright She is such a sympathetic character and I wanted to know what happened to her.The Last Runaway is the story of Honor Bright, a young Quaker woman who leaves England to escape an unpleasant past that is not of her own doing, and her attempt to fit into the American society in a small town in Ohio Ther I am trying to figure out today what made this book so unputdownable last night I was up reading it until I finished at 3am and the only thing I can come up with is the character of Honor Bright She is such a sympathetic character and I wanted to know what happened to her.The Last Runaway is the story of Honor Bright, a young Quaker woman who leaves England to escape an unpleasant past that is not of her own doing, and her attempt to fit into the American society in a small town in Ohio There are a cast of interesting characters in Donovan and Belle, Jack Haymaker, Adam and Abigail, andand decisions that need to be made by Honor that foreshadow a deeper meaning behind her name.There were familiar aspects to this novel, anyone who has read Uncle Tom s Cabin will recognize similarities between the stories but this isdealing with the other side, what happens to those who disobey the Fugitive Slave Act It s a life filled with secrets and lies in the midst of a people who refuse to lie.So this ended up being an unputdownable book for me It moved quickly, had heart and characters that tugged at my heartstrings, and it was a story that was above and beyond interesting There were little bits of flavor throughout it as well that helped with the story, making itpersonable The difference between English quilting and American, recipes, culture, andThis is a great book for fans of historical fiction who are interested in immigration, the underground railroad, Quakers, and the early pioneer midwest


  9. Fran Fran says:

    Inspiring and realistic A heart warming tale of one woman s unexpected journey to ferry runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad and saving her soul and self in the process.


  10. Catherine Catherine says:

    After being spurned by her fianc in 1850s England, Quaker Honor Bright accompanies her sister Grace to Ohio, where Grace is to be married Soon Honor must fend for herself Feeling unwelcomed by her sister s fiance and his sister in law, Honor marries a local Quaker man and moves to his family s farm, where she also feels unwanted Against their wishes, Honor becomes involved in assisting runaway slaves This book was just good enough to keep me reading, but Honor was so judgmental and priggish After being spurned by her fianc in 1850s England, Quaker Honor Bright accompanies her sister Grace to Ohio, where Grace is to be married Soon Honor must fend for herself Feeling unwelcomed by her sister s fiance and his sister in law, Honor marries a local Quaker man and moves to his family s farm, where she also feels unwanted Against their wishes, Honor becomes involved in assisting runaway slaves This book was just good enough to keep me reading, but Honor was so judgmental and priggish that I found myself siding with the characters who disliked her which was almost all of them, including the dog Yet I don t think the author realized how fundamentally annoying Honor was In general, the writing, plot, and characters most of whom were pretty one dimensional felt like a mediocre YA book The story frequently focuses on Honor s love of quilting You have probably guessed that she is a better quilter than anyone else and is unfairly resented for that Aside from references to Grandmother s Flower Garden quilts, which would have instead been called honeycomb or mosaic quilts in that era being a know it all is contagious , the quilting references seemed to be accurate There were interesting parts to this book, but it didn t quite come together


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The Last Runaway The stunning new novel from the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring Honor Bright is a sheltered Quaker who has rarely ventured out of s Dorset when she impulsively emigrates to America Opposed to the slavery that defines and divides the country, she finds her principles tested to the limit when a runaway slave appears at the farm of her new family In this tough, unsentimental place, where whisky bottles sit alongside quilts, Honor befriends two spirited women who will teach her how to turn ideas into actions [PDF / Epub] ★ Irrawaddy Tango By Wendy Law-Yone – Kleankitchen.co.uk she finds her principles tested to the limit when a runaway slave appears at the farm of her new family In this tough ❰Download❯ ➼ قصص الأنبياء Author الشيخ خليل دريان الأزهري – Kleankitchen.co.uk unsentimental place [Epub] ➚ The Nanny Arrangement Author Lily George – Kleankitchen.co.uk where whisky bottles sit alongside quilts ❰BOOKS❯ ✯ Starting Your Own Business Author Jim Green – Kleankitchen.co.uk Honor befriends two spirited women who will teach her how to turn ideas into actions