Book Review

The Last Runaway


The Last Runaway, by Tracy Chevalier, is at the other end of the fiction spectrum.  I picked it up because I loved Chevalier’s earlier book, “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” which is about a famous painting of the same name by Johannes Vermeer.  That one was set in the 1660s, and I thought Chevalier did a masterful job weaving fiction into history through a voice that felt totally real.

The Last Runaway may be set in 1851, but the weaving is as skillful, and the voice – ahhh, smooth and serene even in the most stressful of times.  This one focuses on a young Quaker woman in Ohio in the days leading up to the Civil War.  It is a thought-provoking book about the ways of the Quakers and the clash between their view of freedom and that of a government in which slavery is clinging to life by a last ugly thread.

If you’re in the mood for a thought-provoking read, try The Last Runaway.  BTW, it wasn’t until a week after I finished it that I realized the title didn’t refer only to slaves.  I’m still pretty awed by that.

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