Tracy Chevalier has a new book called The Last Runaway. This book is about a Quaker woman named Honor Bright, who makes the journey from her home in England to Ohio during the pre-civil war era. Honor is faced with a world that is much different than the one she was to in England. People speak differently, and they act differently. Honor soon finds herself marrying a man in the Quaker community. But in order to get along with her new family Honor is faced with the choice of betraying her personal beliefs, or abiding by the laws of her new homeland.
In this book Chevalier paints a picture of what it was like to live in Ohio during the pre-civil war timeframe. Especially, what is was like to be a woman living during that time. It shows how difficult it can be for individuals who have strong beliefs to actually walk their talk. And it also shows that there may be a price to pay if you do act according to your conscience.
Chevalier has developed characters in The Last Runaway that are easy to understand, and they feel as if they are people you might know in real life. You can relate to their problems even if they were in a time that you do not live in. And you see that there were many things that were different during that time, but there were also many things that are just the same as the time we live in now.
This book probably isn’t for everyone; I don’t think that a lot of men would enjoy it. It’s too focused on women and their interactions. But I think many women who enjoy history, and quilting would enjoy this book.