Tag Archives: historical fiction

The Last Runaway

2 Dec

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.Image

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. 

Remarkable Creatures Review

13 Nov

In the past I’ve enjoyed reading Tracy Chevalier’s books, so when I saw the book Remarkable Creatures, I thought this is a book I definitely need to read.

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The book starts out in with Elizabeth Philpot moving to a small seaside town in England. She soon meets a young girl named Mary Anning. Mary is an unusual girl for the 1800’s, she has a talent for finding fossils. Even though Mary is uneducated, she has a vast knowledge of the fossils in the area. Elizabeth spends time with Mary hunting fossils. When Mary finds an unusual fossil find her life begins to take a different course than the other girls in the town. Little does she know that she will become an expert in the field of fossils, and that she will develop a life-long friendship with Elizabeth.

I really loved this book for many reasons. Chevalier is able to tell a really great story that holds my attention. The book has really strong female characters who march to the beat of a different drummer. In their day Mary and Elizabeth were quite odd because they chose a life of fossil hunting. Mary chose it as a livelihood, and Elizabeth chose it as a hobby. And Mary becomes an expert in the field. This is quite a feat for a poor young woman in the 1800’s. The book also shows a time when the world is changing. Long held beliefs are being challenged by Mary’s finds.