The Last Runaway


Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker 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.

My opinion: This is my third Tracy Chevalier book of the year and it’s another cracker! Chevalier’s latest release is another historical fiction offering featuring quilts, quakers and a British girl called Honor who emigrates with her sister to America to start a new life.

The writing is once again wonderful in this book and the imagery very vivid. We meet lots of different characters in this book, and Honor faces tragedy and meets some new friends on her journey. The central story to this book is about slavery and the things that people did to help black people pass through Ohio and onto a better life whilst most people just looked the other way. To me, the relationships that were formed in the story were just as important, both good and bad, and also the realisation from Honor that life isn’t all black and white.

Another great book and I look forward to discovering more of Chevalier’s work.

My rating: Four stars

I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Originally reviewed at Reading in Progress.

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